Australian Colonies Government Act

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Formally known as the Act for the Better Government of Her Majesty's Australian Colonies (1850), the Australian Colonies Government Act, was legislation enacted by the British House of Commons separating the southeastern Australian district of Port Phillip from New South Wales and establishing it as the colony of Victoria.

It was passed in response to the demand of the Port Phillip settlers, who felt inadequately represented in the New South Wales Legislative Council and who resented their revenues being channeled to the New South Wales area. The act, which took effect on 2 July 1851, provided for a Legislative Council of 21 elected members and 30 members appointed by the governor. This body was given jurisdiction over all but Australian lands and could pass any legislation not in conflict with the extant English laws. The act also recognized the desire for progress toward self-government elsewhere in Australia, and similar constitutional provisions were applied to Tasmania and South Australia.