Thomas McIlwraith

(1835—1900) entrepreneur and politician in Australia

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(1835–1900) was a force in Queensland politics for more than 25 years, serving several terms as premier. Born in Scotland, he migrated to Victoria in 1854 where he mined at Bendigo and worked as a surveyor in the railway department before taking up pastoral runs in Qld. He entered the Queensland parliament in 1870. He continually advocated the expansion of the railway system, borrowed to finance comprehensive public works, and aroused opposition with his support of the introduction of non-European labour. His annexation of south-eastern New Guinea in 1883 was disallowed by the British government. McIlwraith had extensive financial interests and resorted to malpractice to save them during the depression of the early 1890s. He was forced to resign in 1897 after an inquiry into his directorship of the Queensland National Bank condemned his conduct.


From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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