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Q150 Timeline

In 1859, Queensland separated from New South Wales and later became a state. The year 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of this event.

Many significant events have happened during this time, including the Federation of Australia, two world wars, and man's first landing on the moon. The following list celebrates some of the historical, social and economic milestones that have occurred in the last 150 years.  

Date  Event Interesting facts 
6 Jun 1859 Queensland becomes a colony  When Queensland separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859, it was the only colony in Australia that did not require a special Act of the Imperial Parliament for its establishment. After a short period with an interim governing Executive Council, the new colony commenced as a fully functioning democracy with an elected Legislative Assembly on 22 May 1860.
6 Jun 1859 Free trade, wine and opium Acts introduced These Acts were inherited from New South Wales, and were in force in Queensland, after separation in 1859.
10 Dec 1859 First Governor of Queensland appointed

Sir George Ferguson Bowen issued the official proclamation for the separate colony of Queensland and was sworn in as first Governor. At the time, the population of Queensland was 23,520 (5,000 were living in Brisbane).

15 Dec 1859

150 years of Queensland treasurers Over the past 150 years, a total of 46 men and women have served in the official capacity of Queensland treasurer, some holding the office more than once.
15 Dec 1859 Interim Queensland Government appointed

The first Queensland Government (temporary Executive Council of Queensland) consisted of Sir George Bowen (Governor), Sir Charles Nicholson (President), Robert GW Herbert (Colonial Secretary), Robert R Mackenzie (Colonial Treasurer) and Ratcliffe Pring (Attorney-General).

24 Dec 1859 Queensland Government's entire cash revenue stolen

The initial cash revenue on hand for the new Queensland government totalled 7½d. As there was no safe, the copper coins were kept in a cash box. The cash box was stolen by a burgler and never recovered.

27 Apr 1860–11 May 1860 First elections held in Queensland The first elections were held in Queensland for the Colonial Parliament (Legislative Assembly). Because of distance and communication problems, elections were held over several weeks.  
22 May 1860 First meeting of the Queensland Parliament The first meeting of the Queensland Parliament was held in the old Queen Street convict barracks after elections for the Legislative Assembly.
10 Jul 1860 Gold Export Duty Repeal Act of 1860 introduced The first tax act passed in the new colony of Queensland abolished the gold duty originally imposed by the New South Wales Government.
16 Jun 1862 New South Wales Border Customs Act of 1862 introduced  This Act was the second tax-related act passed by the Queensland Government. It imposed a tax on all dutiable goods being sent to Queensland from New South Wales.

2 Sep 1864

Light Dues Act of 1864 introduced  This was the first Queensland act to impose a new tax. It was the third tax-related act passed by the Queensland Government.
11 Sep 1864 Gold Export Duty Act of 1864 introduced 

Gold export duty (inherited from New South Wales) was abolished in 1860. Due to the discovery of large amounts of gold and the increase in the number of diggers, gold export duty was again imposed in 1864.

17 Sep 1866 Stamp Duties Act 1866 introduced Queensland was the third colony, after Tasmania and New South Wales, to introduce a stamp duties tax.
17 Sep 1890 First Chief Commissioner of Stamps Hugh Miles Milman was the first Chief Commissioner of Stamps. This position was created in 1890.
1 Jan 1891 Commissioners of Stamp Duties  A list of all Stamp Duty Commissioners, from Hugh Miles Milman to James VM Green.
31 Dec 1891 Succession duty—A brief history Succession duty (or death duty) was payable on property left to others after a person's death.
30 Sep 1893 Letter to the editor  Extracts from letters to the editor published in The Brisbane Courier and The Bundaberg Daily Times.
6 Aug 1894 Stamp Act 1894 introduced Queensland's second stamp act came into effect on 1 November 1894.
31 Dec 1894 Regional contact centres—A brief history Regional offices are located in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton. The Townsville and Rockhampton offices have each been operating for more than a century.
2 Sep 1899 Australian referendum held Queenslanders vote 'yes' in the referendum for a Commonwealth of Australia.
1 Dec 1899 First Labor Government in power The first Australian Labor Party government, and the first parliamentary labour/socialist government in the world was only in power for one week (1 Dec–7 Dec). It was led by Andrew (Anderson) Dawson (Premier) and William Kidston (Treasurer).
1 Jan 1901 Queensland becomes a state Commonwealth of Australia proclaimed—Queensland becomes a state.
20 Dec 1905 Income Tax Declaratory Act of 1905 introduced  The Commissioner of Income Tax apparently reported to the Treasurer that some senior officers in the Queensland public service were refusing to pay income tax under the Income Tax Act of 1902. The government passed the Income Tax Declaratory Act of 1905 to make the income tax law clearer.
12 Mar 1913 Capital of Australia declared Canberra was officially named as the capital of Australia by Lady Denman, the wife of Australia's Governor General on 12 March 1913.
4 Aug 1914 World War I begins

World War I was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne on 28 June 1914. Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, following the German invasion of Belgium. America entered the war on 6 April 1917.

13 Sep 1915 First federal income tax introduced Australia’s first federal income tax was introduced to fund expenditure for the Great War.
22 Nov 1915 Land Tax Act 1915 introduced  Land tax was introduced by the Commonwealth Government in 1910, and by the Queensland Government in 1915.
11 Nov 1918 World War I ends World War I (also called the Great War) ended on 11 November—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
24 Oct 1929 Wall Street stock exchange crashes The New York Wall Street stock exchange crashes—this marks the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Jun 1935 Cane toads introduced

One hundred and one cane toads were brought into Queensland to try to control pests on sugar cane crops. After breeding, 3000 were released into areas around Cairns, Innisfail and Gordonvale, eventually spreading to many parts of Queensland.

3 Sep 1939 World War II begins Britain declares war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland. America entered the war on 7 December 1941 due to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
2 May 1941 Payroll tax first imposed  The Commonwealth Government introduces payroll tax to finance a national scheme for child endowment.
19 Feb 1942 Darwin bombed Darwin was bombed for the first time.
19 Nov 1942 Commonwealth income tax introduced The Queensland Government passes laws suspending
the collection of state income tax, effective retrospectively to 1 July 1942. The Commonwealth Government takes control to
meet the costs of war and establishes a uniform income tax.
2 Sep 1945 World War II ends War in the Pacific ended on 2 September 1945 with Japan's formal surrender. Germany surrendered unconditionally on 7 May 1945.
1 Jan 1949 Commissioners of land tax The State Land Tax Office was separated from the Taxation Department and placed under the separate control of a Commissioner for Land Tax in 1948.
2 Jun 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Princess Elizabeth is crowned 'Queen Elizabeth II' after the death of her father, King George VI. Her rule extends over sixteen independent sovereign states (known as the Commonwealth realms), including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
16 Sep 1956 First regular television transmission First regular television transmission in Australia—channel TCN-9 in Sydney.
4 Oct 1957 Sputnik launched The USSR launches Sputnik, the first man-made earth satellite.
12 Apr 1961 First man in space Yuri Gargarin, a Russian cosmonaut, became the first human in space, making a 180-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.
26 May 1965 Australian troops leave for Vietnam The first contingent of Australian troops leave for Vietnam on the aircraft carrier Sydney.
14 Feb 1966 Decimal currency introduced Decimal currency was first used in Australia on 14 February 1966.
20 Jul 1969 Man lands on the moon Neil Armstrong steps out from the ‘Eagle’ lunar landing module onto the surface of the moon.
1 Sep 1971 Payroll Tax Act 1971 introduced  Payroll tax was introduced by the Commonwealth Government in 1941 to pay for child endowment. In 1971, responsibility for collecting this tax passed to the States.
21 Dec 1972 Metric measurements replace imperial system

The metric system replaced the imperial system of measurements between 1970 and 1988. Most businesses were using metric measurements by the end of 1974. The Stamp Act 1894–1971 (Qld) was converted from the imperial system to the metric system on 21 December 1972.

1 Mar 1975 Colour television introduced Colour TV was shown on a full time basis in Australia.
1 Sep 1976 Electronic equipment introduced in Stamp Duties Office First use of electronic equipment at Stamp Duties Office—N.C.R. 250-7000 Cash Receipting Machine.
19 Apr 1984 Australian National Anthem chosen In 1977, the Australian Electoral office conducted a poll for the national anthem tune in conjunction with a referendum. Advance Australia Fair was named the Australian National Anthem on 19 April 1984. The original version of the song was written by Peter Dodds McCormack in 1878 and had 4 verses.
30 Apr–30 Oct 1988 Australia's bicentenary

World Expo '88 was held in Brisbane to celebrate the bicentenary of the First Fleet's arrival in Sydney Harbour and 200 years of permanent European settlement in Australia.

9 Nov 1989 Berlin Wall falls Fall of the Berlin Wall—East and West Germany are reunited after 28 years of separation.
20 Nov 1990 Debits Tax Act 1990 introduced  Debits tax was originally collected by the Commonwealth Government. In 1990, responsibility for collecting this tax passed to the States. This tax was payable on certain cash, cheque, ATM and EFTPOS withdrawals.
20 Mar 1991 Office of State Revenue (OSR) opens 

The Stamp Duties and Land Tax Offices combined to form the new Office of State Revenue. It was officially opened by the Queensland Treasurer, Keith De Lacy, and was managed by Jane Macdonnell (Executive Director) and Henry Smerdon (Under Treasurer and Commissioner of Stamp Duties).

23 Oct 1994 Centenary of Stamp Act 1894 (PDF 4,340 K)  The Stamp Act 1894 (Qld) received assent on 23 October 1894, and came into effect on 1 November 1894. A brochure reflecting on the economic and social changes during the 100 years that the Act had been in effect was published in 1994.
1 Nov 1997 Fuel Subsidy Act 1997 introduced  The Fuel Subsidy Scheme was introduced to offset the 8.1c per litre increase in the Commonwealth's excise duty on fuel products. The subsidy was available for certain types of fuel sold to Queensland motorists.
1 Jan 2000 21st Century begins The year 2000 marked the first year of the 21st Century and the beginning of the 3rd Millenium.
1 Jul 2000 First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 introduced  On 1 July 2000, the Federal Government began offering financial help to people who were buying or building their first home. This was done through the First Home Owner Scheme.
1 Jul 2000 GST introduced in Australia Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in Australia. This was a federal value-added tax of 10% on most goods & services transactions in Australia, which replaced the previous federal wholesale sales tax system. Under the Act, GST revenue was to be redistributed to the States. 
11 Sep 2001 'War on Terror' declared The 'War on Terror' begins as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the United States of America.
16 Oct 2001 Duties Act 2001 introduced After 108 years, Australia's oldest operating tax act, the Stamp Act 1894 (Qld), was replaced by more modern legislation.
17 Oct 2001 Taxation Administration Act 2001 introduced 

The Taxation Administration Act 2001 (TAA) deals with the administration of the Duties Act 2001, Payroll Tax Act 1971, Land Tax Act 1915 and the Community Ambulance Cover Act 2003.

1 Jan 2002 Euro coins and banknotes introduced Euro coins and banknotes entered circulation on 1 January 2002. The euro is now the official currency of the European Union, and is used in 21 different countries. It is the second largest reserve currency and the second most traded currency in the world (after the U.S. dollar).
12 Oct 2002 Bali bombings occurred Three bombs were detonated, including one carried by a suicide bomber, in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. Two hundred and two people died and a further 240 people were injured.
12 Mar 2003 SARS alert issued The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a global alert about a new viral respiratory illness—SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). It originated in China in November 2002, and was described as a new type of atypical pneumonia that infects the lungs and was caused by a new strain of coronavirus.
1 Jul 2003 Community Ambulance Cover Act 2003 introduced  The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) was previously funded by a voluntary subscription scheme. In July 2003, the Queensland Government introduced a community ambulance cover levy to ensure that the QAS could continue to provide ambulance services for all Queenslanders.
26 Dec 2004 Tsunami hits Indonesia The Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake that, according to the US Geological Survey, was estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. It measured 9.3 on the Richter scale. By the end of the day, more than 150,000 people were dead or missing and millions were homeless in 11 countries.
29 Aug 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane, passed the New Orleans coast on 29 August 2005. The resulting widespread flooding was described as the worst engineering disaster in the history of the United States. 
1 Dec 2006 Current Commissioner of State Revenue appointed  David Smith was appointed as Commissioner of State Revenue in December 2006. He is also the Executive Director of the Office of State Revenue.

24 Nov 2007

Kevin Rudd elected as PM Kevin Michael Rudd was sworn in as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia on December 3 2007, after the Australian Labor Party won the election on 24 November. This ended the 11 year reign of the Liberal Party, led by John Howard. Kevin Rudd is only the second Queenslander in Australian history to lead his party to a Federal election victory.
20 Jan 2009 Barack Obama inugurated as US President Barak Obama won the US presidential election held on 4 November 2008. On 20 January 2009, he was inaugurated as the 44th US President, and was the first African-American to hold this position.
10 Dec 2009 Queensland's 150th birthday On this day in 1859, Queen Victoria's Letters Patent were read, proclaiming Queensland a colony in its own right.