A breakdown of the pros and cons of Australia becoming a federation.
Trade: Free trade between states.
Unions and labour laws: Labour laws standardised across states and workers’ unions formed.
Transport: Uniform railway lines and transportation systems across states.
“White Australia” policy: Some Australians wanted to eliminate unwanted foreigners, providing more employment for Australians.
Independence from England: A small step away from the influence of England to become a self-governing nation in its own right.
Laws: Laws could be better enforced across states. Also, some laws, such as taxes and banking, were expected to be made uniform.
Defence: A national, combined defence unit would be far stronger than the individual states.
Powerful states: There was a concern that some states would be more powerful than others. Initially, Western Australia held back from agreeing to join the federation to ensure its economic security, given its distance from the densely populated eastern states.
Cutting ties with England: Many were unwilling to cut ties with England, fearing that Federation would cut them off entirely from “the Mother Country”.