In 1826 Western Australia was settled. Doomed from the start, with its settlers coming on false pretenses, they did not know how to farm the land, let alone raise money off it. Even though convicts arrived in the 1850's, the Western Australian colony stagnated for almost 3 and a half decades with only its agricultural and pastoral industries keeping it alive. It was not until 1982 and 1983 that Western Australia's luck changed, finding gold in Coolgardie then Kalgoorlie. This made everlasting changes in Australia and was a leading factor in Western Australia deciding to join in the federation of Australia in 1901. Between 1898-1900 the idea of federation grew consistently, and like anything in WA, there are those who support it, and those who don't support this rising idea. Many attitudes towards federation, each with own reasons but one thing is for sure Australia was heading towards the federation.
Western Australia was not a popular place, it was considered isolated to Eastern Colonies. Immigrants were not keen on moving there as it was still a convict based colony, so they discovery of gold meant great things for Australia Easterners, which were referred to as "T"othersiders" (Separation Movement on the Eastern Goldfields 1894-1904 Readings pg 42) became increasingly interested in WA and moved over here in thousands. By 1890, WA's population increased from just 46,000 to 180,000 by 1901 (Gold, 2001 www.liswa.wa.gov.au/federation/index.html) which created both wealth, prosperity and saw the end of WA stagnating industry and in 1898, Fremantle Port was completed, and its first mailings arrived in 1900. This caused Western Australia's reputation of being isolated to vanish, with more immigrants pouring in than ever before. .
The Government of Western Australia was lead by John Forrest, a labor and anti-federationalist. Joining him in his opposition was many conservative agricultural districts.