Law Text Culture


C. Elder


In the run up to the 2001 Australian Federal election John Howard launched his campaign with the pulpit thumping, vote winning cry of: ‘We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come’ (28 October 2001). One hundred years earlier Australian federal parliamentarians had debated the form of the Immigration Restriction Act. One aspect of their discussion went: Mauger: … [the Australian people] are determined that Australia shall be kept free from alien invasion and contamination. Glynn: It is a question of colour, it is not a question of whether a man is an alien or not. Mauger: It is a question of coloured labour. Watson: … the question is whether we would desire that our sisters or our brothers should be married into any of these races to which we object (Cth of Aust 1901a: 4631–3).