Labour History

Labor and Reform of the Victorian Legislative Council, 1950-2003

Labour History (2004), 86, (1), 33–52.

Abstract

In early 2003, the Bracks Victorian Labor Government enacted legislation ushering in arguably the most extensive changes to the State’s parliamentary system since the achievement of responsible government in the 1850s. The legislation’s chief purpose was reform of Victorian Labor’s historical nemesis, the Legislative Council. While the Labor Parties fought to subdue Upper Houses in each of the States last century, that struggle proved especially onerous and protracted in Victoria. Focusing predominantly on the period bookmarked by the two key milestones of Upper House reform in Victoria, 1950 and 2003, this article is an account of Labor’s battle with the Legislative Council. It explores what animated and sustained Labor’s struggle, the barriers that long frustrated its effective prosecution, the gradual evolution of Labor’s objective from that of abolition to reform of the Upper House, and the circumstances that culminated in the 2003 reform achievement. The article also highlights the paradoxes that attended the struggle, including at the movement of its success.

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Details

Author details

Strangio, Paul

Table of Contents

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