Sat Sep 28, 1996
b) Gay Australia
Kennett gets in on the act
Why does the Victorian Government care about what happens to gay Tasmanians?
(published in Brother Sister, August 1996)
In the 1860s the Victorian Parliament passed what became known as the Vandemonian Acts. These laws restricted immigration from Tasmanian to Victoria at a time when more and more people were sailing north across Bass Strait to try their luck on the Gold Fields. The newly enriched Victorian elite cringed at the idea of their colony being morally tainted by slovenly ex-convicts from the south, many of whom were sodomites, so they simply banned them from landing in Melbourne. The Tasmanian elite colluded. An mass exodus would undermine the highly repressive political system upon which its priviledge was based, and with the end of convict transportation it needed to keep as many abled bodied workers as possible in Tasmania.
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