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Tasmania - Legislation

Prevention of Cruelty to and Better Protection of Children Act 1895 (1895 - 1936)

Principal Act

The Better Protection of and Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1895 (Act No.59 Vict. No.10) provided for the punishment of anyone who ill-treated, neglected or abandoned a child in such a way that it caused suffering or damage to health. Anyone who persuaded someone else to do this could also be punished. Children mistreated by a guardian could be moved to another home. The Act made begging at any time illegal. It also limited the hours that children under the age of 15 could trade or perform in public, except in premises licensed for that purpose.


 1895 - 1936 Prevention of Cruelty to and Better Protection of Children Act 1895
       1935 - 1961 Infants' Welfare Act 1935
             1960 - 2003 Child Welfare Act 1960
                   2000 - Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997

Related Legislation


Journal Articles

  • Evans, Caroline, 'Declining Volunteerism in Tasmania's Neglected Children's Department, 1896-1918', Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 16, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2011, pp. 73-88. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Evans, Caroline, Protecting the Innocent: Tasmania's Neglected Children, Their Parents and State Care, 1890-1918, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 1999, 251 pp,; Evans, Caroline, Landmarks in Mothering: Tasmanian Child Welfare Legislation, 1895-1918, Australia and New Zealand Legal History E-Journal, 2006, 1-20 pp,

Prepared by: Caroline Evans