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SA Firsts - Timeline for South Australian firsts

Government services

1838

 

South Australia has Australia's first police force, set up by Governor Gawler.
   

1858

 

The Real Property Act is passed, setting up a simple cheap method of checking property titles. This system has been widely adopted by many other countries. Each parcel of property has a registered certificate of title, showing all changes of ownership throughout its history. The system is commonly known as the Torrens Title System after R. R. Torrens, a Member of Parliament, and prominent land speculator. He travelled Australia and overseas promoting the system and claiming to be its author, and outraging the other parliamentarians involved in developing the legislation.
   

1876

 

South Australia was the first State to introduce probate and succession duties.
   

1881

 

South Australia opened the first Public Trustee Office in Australia. In 1855, the first Public Trustee, Henry Alfred Woods, fled South Australia after embezzling large amounts of the property entrusted to his Office. He was never caught and none of the property was ever recovered.
   

1885

 

The first income and land taxes in Australia are levied in South Australia.
   

1885

 

Roseworthy Agricultural College is opened - the first agricultural college in Australia and part of the South Australian government's push to encourage agriculture.

Roseworthy Agricultural College, 1885
Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1885.

1890

 

The first juvenile court in Australia is set up in Adelaide.
   

1891

 

Cremation is legalised.
   

1903

 

The first crematorium in Australia opened at West Terrace Cemetery.

The first Crematorium in Australasia was built in 1902
The Adelaide Observer, October 25, 1902.

1906

 

The first drivers licence in Australia is issued.
   

1919

 

The government appoints an official archivist, the first in Australia

 The first home of the South Australian archivesThe first home of the South Australian Archives.

1936

 

The first public housing authority in Australia set up - the South Australian Housing Trust.