The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Abbott, Hon. Sir Joseph Palmer

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Abbott, Hon. Sir Joseph Palmer, M.L.A., Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales, was born at Muswellbrook, N.S.W., on Sep. 29th, 1842. From his youth Mr. Abbott has been engaged in pastoral pursuits; but he is also a solicitor by profession. He was M.L.A. for the district of Gunnedah from 1880 to 1885, and has since represented Wentworth. Mr. Abbott was Secretary for Mines in the Stuart Government from Jan. 7th, 1883, to Oct. 7th, 1885; and held the post of Secretary for Lands in the Dibbs Ministry from Nov. 7th to Dec. 22nd, 1885. Subsequently Mr. Abbott sat with Mr. Dibbs in Opposition. He, however, found occasion to take an independent stand, and separated himself from the main body of protectionists, and was looked upon as leader of the Third Party in the Assembly—a section also known as the Independent and the “Law and Order” party. He was a member of the New South Wales Commission for the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition of 1888; and in Oct. 1890 he was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on the retirement of Mr. Young. He was one of the delegates of New South Wales to the Federation Convention held in Sydney in 1891. During the shearers’ strike in 1891 he offered his intervention. He was re-elected Speaker later in the year, and was gazetted to a knighthood on May 25th, 1892.