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1901: Enactment of Immigration Restriction Act (White Australian Policy)

23 December All day

At the end of the 19th century, Australian colonies had concerns about who was migrating to Australia. With a rise in the number of migrants from China and the Pacific, many colonies passed tough immigration legislation. The Immigration Restriction Act was one of the first Commonwealth laws passed after Federation. It was based on the existing laws of the colonies. The aim of the law was to limit non-white (particularly Asian) immigration to Australia, to help keep Australia ‘British’. The ‘White Australia Policy’ was not fully removed until 1972.