Australian Electoral Commission

Referendum dates and results

Updated: 24 October 2012
Referendum dates and results
Subject/Proposal Issue of Writ Polling Day Result States that Voted in Favour % of Votes in Favour
Senate Elections
To enable elections for both Houses to be held concurrently
8 November 1906 12 December 1906 Carried All 82.65
Finance
To implement the agreement to allow the Commonwealth to make a fixed payment out of surplus revenue to the States according to population. This was to replace the arrangement where the Commonwealth returned three-quarters of net revenue to the States
28 February 1910 13 April 1910 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
Tas
49.04
State Debts
To give the Commonwealth unrestricted power to take over State debts
28 February 1910 13 April 1910 Carried All except NSW 54.95
*Legislative Powers
To extend the Commonwealth's powers over trade, commerce, the control of corporations, labour and employment, including wages and conditions; and the settling of disputes; and combinations and monopolies
15 March 1911 26 April 1911 Not Carried WA 39.42
*Monopolies
To give power to the Commonwealth to nationalise monopolies.
15 March 1911 26 April 1911 Not Carried WA 39.89
Trade and Commerce 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.38
Corporations 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.33
Industrial Matters 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.33
Railway Disputes 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.13
Trusts 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.78
Nationalisation of Monopolies 24 April 1913 31 May 1913 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
SA
49.33
Legislative Powers
To seek temporary extension of Commonwealth legislative powers over Trade and Commerce, Corporations, Industrial matters and Trusts
3 November 1919 13 December 1919 Not Carried Vic,
Qld,
WA
49.65
Nationalisation of Monopolies
To seek power for the Commonwealth to make laws with respect to monopolies
3 November 1919 13 December 1919 Not Carried Vic,
Qld,
WA
48.64
*Industry and Commerce
To authorise the creation of authorities to control the terms and conditions of industrial employment, to give State authorities similar powers to Commonwealth authorities, and to regulate and control trusts and combinations
26 July 1926 4 September 1926 Not Carried NSW,
Qld
43.50
*Essential Services
to allow the Commonwealth to take measures to protect the public against interruption of essential services
26 July 1926 4 September 1926 Not Carried NSW,
Qld
42.80
State Debts
to end the system of per capita payments which have been made by the Commonwealth to the States since 1910, and to restrict the right of each State to borrow for its own development by subjecting that borrowing to control by a loan council
9 October 1928 17 November 1928 Carried All 74.30
*Aviation
to give the Commonwealth power to legislate on air navigation and aircraft
4 February 1937 6 March 1937 Not Carried Vic,
Qld
53.56
*Marketing
to give the Commonwealth power to legislate on marketing
4 February 1937 6 March 1937 Not Carried None 36.26
*Post-war Reconstruction and Democratic Rights
to give the Commonwealth power, for a period of five years, to legislate on 14 specific matters, including the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen, national health, family allowances and 'the people of the Aboriginal race'
4 July 1944 19 August 1944 Not Carried WA,
SA
45.99
Social Services
to give the Commonwealth power to legislate on a wide range of social services
21 August 1946 28 September 1946 Carried All 54.39
Organised Marketing of Primary Products
to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for the organised marketing of primary products
21 August 1946 28 September 1946 Not Carried NSW,
Vic,
WA
50.57
Industrial Employment
to give the Commonwealth power to legislate on terms and conditions of industrial employment
21 August 1946 28 September 1946 Not Carried NSW,
Vic,
WA
50.30
*Rent and Prices
to give the Commonwealth permanent power to control rents and prices
12 April 1948 29 May 1948 Not Carried None 40.66
*Powers to Deal with Communists and Communism
to give the Commonwealth powers to make laws in respect of communists and communism
10 August 1951 22 September 1951 Not Carried Qld,
WA,
Tas
49.44
*Parliament
to increase the number of Members of the House of Representatives without necessarily increasing the number of Senators
28 April 1967 27 May 1967 Not Carried NSW 40.25
*Aboriginals
to enable the Commonwealth to enact laws for Aborigines. To remove the prohibition against counting aboriginal people in population counts in the Commonwealth or a State.
28 April 1967 27 May 1967 Carried All 90.77
*Prices
to give powers to the Commonwealth to control prices
12 November 1973 8 December 1973 Not Carried None 43.81
*Incomes
to give powers to the Commonwealth to legislate on incomes
12 November 1973 8 December 1973 Not Carried None 34.42
Simultaneous Elections
to hold elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives on the same day
20 April 1974 18 May 1974 Not Carried NSW 48.30
Mode of Altering the Constitution
to give a vote in referendums to electors in the ACT and the Northern Territory, and to enable amendments to be made to the Constitution if approved by a majority of voters and a majority of voters in half the States
20 April 1974 18 May 1974 Not Carried NSW 47.99
Democratic Elections
to make population instead of electors, as at present, the basis of determining the average size of electorates in each State
20 April 1974 18 May 1974 Not Carried NSW 47.20
Local Government Bodies
to give the Commonwealth powers to borrow money for, and to make financial assistance grants directly to, any local government body
20 April 1974 18 May 1974 Not Carried NSW 46.85
*Simultaneous Elections
to ensure that Senate elections are held at the same time as House of Representatives elections
27 April 1977 21 May 1977 Not Carried NSW,
Vic,
SA
62.22
*Senate Casual Vacancies
to ensure, as far as practicable, that a casual vacancy in the Senate is filled by a person of the same political party as the Senator chosen by the people, and that the person shall hold the seat for the balance of the term
27 April 1977 21 May 1977 Carried All 73.32
*Referendums – Territories
to allow electors in Territories, as well as in the States, to vote in constitutional referendums
27 April 1977 21 May 1977 Carried All 77.72
*Retirement of Judges
to provide for retiring ages for judges of Federal courts
27 April 1977 21 May 1977 Carried All 80.10
Terms of Senators
to change the terms of Senators so that they are no longer fixed, and to provide that the election for both Houses are always on the same day
26 October 1984 1 December 1984 Not Carried NSW,
Vic
50.64
Interchange of Powers
to enable the Commonwealth and the States voluntarily to refer powers to each other
26 October 1984 1 December 1984 Not Carried None 47.06
*Parliamentary Terms
to provide for 4 year maximum terms for members of both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament
25 July 1988 3 September 1988 Not Carried None 32.92
*Fair Elections
to provide for fair and democratic parliamentary elections throughout Australia
25 July 1988 3 September 1988 Not Carried None 37.60
*Local Government
to recognise local government in the Constitution
25 July 1988 3 September 1988 Not Carried None 33.62
*Rights and Freedoms
to extend the right to trial by jury, to extend freedom of religion, and to ensure fair terms for persons whose property is acquired by any government
25 July 1988 3 September 1988 Not Carried None 30.79
*Republic
To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament
1 October 1999 6 November 1999 Not Carried None 45.13
*Preamble
To alter the Constitution to insert a preamble
1 October 1999 6 November 1999 Not Carried None 39.34

Note: * indicates a referendum that was not held in conjunction with an election

Source: 2008 Parliamentary Handbook. Parliamentary Library