Daylight Saving Time

In 1895, because of the coming of the telegraph, Australian colonies adopted Standard Time statutes. During the First World War, to save energy, Tasmania temporarily enacted daylight saving time between 1916 and 1919, and in the Second World War, the commonwealth government established national daylight saving time from 1941 to 1945.

From 1957 John Steer, MHA for Bass, ran a protracted parliamentary campaign to reintroduce daylight saving, and finally succeeded, mainly because of the 1967 drought. This too was temporary, but after heated parliamentary debate and investigation, permanent daylight saving was introduced in 1970. Other states followed, and in 1994 at Tasmania's suggestion uniformity of termination date was endorsed. Tasmania continues to commence before other jurisdictions, which means being briefly out of kilter for many business, media and communication matters. Countervailing benefits include more daylight for sport, recreation and tourism, and improved road safety. But some, including child-raising mothers, farmers and public transport drivers, complain of early darkness and long twilights, which Tasmania's latitude generates.

Further reading: T Newman, 'About time', RSTPP 118, 1984.

Terry Newman