Joshua Whitsitt

Last updated

Joshua Whitsitt
Joshua Whitsitt.png
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Darwin
In office
16 December 1922 3 October 1925
Preceded by George Bell
Succeeded by George Bell
Personal details
Born(1869-09-26)26 September 1869
Rosslea, County Fermanagh, Ireland, United Kingdom
Died14 September 1943(1943-09-14) (aged 73)
Cooee, Tasmania, Australia
Nationality Irish Australian
OccupationFarmer

Joshua Thomas Hoskins Whitsitt (26 September 1869 – 14 September 1943) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1909 to 1922 and a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1922 to 1925.

Contents

Early life and business career

Whitsitt was born in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and attended college in Belfast. He visited Tasmania at the age of eighteen, intending to return to Ireland, but instead remained in Australia. He worked as an accountant for the Bank of Australasia at Burnie, where he was also a prominent tennis player, winning the state doubles championship and the 1894 intercolonial matches. He married Bertha Quiggin in May 1899. [1] [2] [3] [4] He resigned from the bank in 1900 to become resident secretary of the Blyth Iron Mine Company, while also becoming a farmer and grazier at "Roselea", his property at Cooee. [5] [6]

State politics

In December 1908, Whitsitt announced that he would contest the 1909 state election as an independent candidate for the multi-member seat of Darwin. He advocated a "reformation scheme" including reforming the system for the selection of Crown lands, prioritising agricultural and mining industries and developing the west coast, altering the role of local government in rates assessment and taxation collection, and changes to the overall taxation system. He also supported a poll tax, opposed further extension of the Legislative Council franchise, opposed the nationalisation of industries and the introduction of industrial relations legislation, and supported increasing the salary of members of parliament while reducing their number in both houses. Whitsitt suggested that he could prevent industrial strife by "studying mankind", and upon being asked at a public meeting how he would protect workers from unscrupulous employers, he answered "are there any?" [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

He retired from the campaign in February on the basis that he had "urgent business interests" requiring travel to England, but re-entered the race in March, postponing his trip until April. [12] [13] He missed the postal cutoff for the close of nominations but saved his candidacy by engaging a motor from the Emu Bay Railway to send the form to Zeehan. [14] [ failed verification ] He won the sixth and final seat in Darwin at the expense of Treasurer Don Urquhart, who he had criticised heavily in the campaign. [15] [16] Following his election, there was considerable debate in the media and in parliament about the possibility that he could be unseated due to being overseas and thus being unable to be personally sworn in during the first sitting of parliament. [17] [18] This was resolved in July by granting Whitsitt a leave of absence, allowing him to be belatedly sworn in on 21 September. He then took his seat on the government benches (of Elliott Lewis). [19] [20]

He voted to support the Lewis government in a no-confidence vote in September, but crossed the floor to bring the Lewis government down in October, reaffirming his independence and noting that as the 1909 anti-Labor Fusion that had formed the Commonwealth Liberal Party had happened whilst he was in England, it did not apply to him. He then crossed the floor again within the same week to bring the new Labor Earle government down. He cited as his reasons for the abrupt turnaround being disagreement with the Lewis government over government policy on the potato industry, the resolution of a "mutiny" within the Liberals by Norman Ewing and his supporters, and Whitsitt's opposition to a Labor attempt to introduce full adult suffrage. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

He successfully defended his seat in 1916 and 1919. [1]

Federal politics

In 1922, he transferred to federal politics, winning the federal seat of Darwin in the Australian House of Representatives for the Country Party, defeating sitting Nationalist member George Bell. He retired in 1925, returning to farming. Whitsitt died in 1943. [26]

Related Research Articles

West Coast Council Local government area in Tasmania, Australia

West Coast Council is a local government body in Tasmania, covering much of the western region of the state. West Coast is classified as a rural local government area and has a population of 4,167, the major towns and localities of the region include Strahan, Rosebery, Zeehan and the principal town of Queenstown.

Zeehan Town in Tasmania, Australia

Zeehan is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia 139 kilometres (86 mi) south-west of Burnie. It is located north of Strahan, Tasmania and Queenstown, Tasmania.

<i>The Advocate</i> (Tasmania) newspaper in North West and Western Tasmania, Australia

The Advocate is a local newspaper of North-West and Western Tasmania, Australia.

Regatta Point, Tasmania town in Tasmania, Australia

Regatta Point is the location of a port and rail terminus on Macquarie Harbour.

Murchison Highway highway in Tasmania

The Murchison Highway is a highway located in the West Coast region of Tasmania, Australia. The 147-kilometre (91 mi) highway runs generally north-south, with Somerset, near Burnie, as its northern terminus and Zeehan as its southern terminus. The highway was opened on 13 December 1963. Part of the highway from Waratah to Burnie was known as the Waratah Highway until 1973.

Melba Line

The Melba Line is a 1,067 mm narrow-gauge railway on the West Coast of Tasmania. The line was originally constructed as a private railway line named the Emu Bay Railway and was one of the longest-lasting and most successful private railway companies in Australia. While at present the line travels from Burnie to Melba Flats, it previously ran through to Zeehan carrying minerals and passengers as an essential service for the West Coast community.

North East Dundas Tramway former railway near Zeehan,Tasmania

The North East Dundas Tramway (NEDT) was a 2 ft narrow gauge tramway on West Coast Tasmania that ran between Zeehan and Deep Lead. It was part of Tasmanian Government Railways. The world's first Garratt locomotives TGR K Class were used on the line, as were two G Class 0-4-2T engines built by Sharp-Stewart of Glasgow in 1896 and a massive 'J Class' 2-6-4-0T articulated locomotive manufactured by Hagans of Erfurt in 1900.

The mines of the West Coast of Tasmania have a rich historical heritage as well as an important mineralogical value in containing or having had found, specimens of rare and unusual minerals. Also, the various mining fields have important roles in the understanding of the mineralization of the Mount Read Volcanics, and the occurrence of economic minerals.

The history of the Railways on the West Coast of Tasmania has fascinated enthusiasts from around the world, because of the combination of the harsh terrain in which the railways were created, and the unique nature of most of the lines.

The Strahan–Zeehan Railway, also known as the 'Government Railway', was a railway from Strahan to Zeehan on the west coast of Tasmania.

Dundas, Tasmania Town in Tasmania, Australia

Dundas was a historical mining locality, mineral field and railway location on the western foothills of the West Coast Range in Western Tasmania. It is now part of the locality of Zeehan.

Herbert Hays Australian politician

Herbert Hays was an Australian politician.

The Emu Bay Railway was an Australian railway company. Listed on the Melbourne Stock Exchange, it operated the Melba Line on the West Coast of Tasmania from 1897 until 1998.

Zeehan railway station

Zeehan railway station in Tasmania, was a major junction and railway yard for numerous different railway and tramway systems in western Tasmania in the town of Zeehan.

James Joseph Gaffney was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1899 to 1903, representing the electorate of Lyell.

Queenstown railway station, Tasmania railway station in Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

Queenstown in Western Tasmania has had two railway stations. The original was built for the railway built for the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, and lasted until the closing of the railway line in 1962. The newer station was built for the re-built railway, the West Coast Wilderness Railway.

Zeehan Highway is a road between Zeehan and Queenstown in Western Tasmania.

William Percival Brownell was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1903 to 1909, representing the electorate of Franklin.

Charles John Mackenzie was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1886 to 1909, representing the electorate of Wellington.

Magnet Tramway

The Magnet Tramway, often found referred to as the Magnet Tram, was a 2 ft gauge railway in north west Tasmania.It ran between Magnet Junction on the Guildford to Mount Bischoff railway line, and the Magnet mine.

References

  1. 1 2 "OBITUARY MR. J. T. H. WHITSITT, BURNIE". The Advocate . Tasmania. 15 September 1943. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  2. "Lawn Tennis". Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette . IX (16). Tasmania. 6 November 1894. p. 3. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "INTERCOLONIAL LAWN TENNIS". Launceston Examiner . LIV (284). Tasmania. 28 November 1894. p. 6. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  4. "RAILWAY EXTENSION". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . 1 (58). Tasmania. 19 May 1899. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "North-Western Agricultural Areas". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania, Australia. 26 August 1908. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "Advertising". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 21 June 1900. p. 3. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "State Politics". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania, Australia. 3 December 1908. p. 3. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "A POLITICAL ADDRESS". The Mercury . XC (12, 080). Tasmania. 4 December 1908. p. 6. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "MEETING AT BURNIE". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 4 December 1908. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Darwin State Election". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 4 December 1908. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  11. "Zeehan and Dundas Herald. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1908". Zeehan and Dundas Herald . XX (46). Tasmania, Australia. 5 December 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  12. "The State Elections". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 22 February 1909. p. 3. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  13. "RIANA". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 11 March 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  14. "PERSONAL". Daily Telegraph . XXIX (93). Tasmania. 20 April 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  15. "STATE GENERAL ELECTIONS". Zeehan and Dundas Herald . XX (172). Tasmania. 5 May 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  16. "The State Finances". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 25 June 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  17. "MR. WHITSITT'S POSITION". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 8 May 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  18. "Position of Mr Whitsitt". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 7 July 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  19. "POSITION OF MR. WHITSITT". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania, Australia. 8 July 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  20. "BURNIE". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 6 September 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  21. "THE POLITICAL CRISIS". The Mercury . XCII (12, 328). Tasmania. 24 September 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  22. "MINISTERIAL CRISIS". The Mercury . XCII (12, 345). Tasmania. 14 October 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  23. "THE POLITICAL CRISIS". The Mercury . XCII (12, 346). Tasmania. 15 October 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  24. "LABOUR MINISTRY". The Examiner . LXVIII (253) (DAILY ed.). Tasmania. 23 October 1909. p. 8. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  25. "Pre-Historic Politics". The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times . Tasmania. 29 October 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  26. Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Bell
Member for Darwin
1922–1925
Succeeded by
George Bell