Relations between the authorities and the diggers on the Ballarat goldfield continued to deteriorate, and despite the reports of corruption and violent behaviour being reported to the senior government officials, no action was being taken.
Following a murder on the goldfield, the miners meeting protesting the corrupt investigation that took place afterwards, escalated into a riot, and the Eureka Hotel was burnt to the ground.
A number of influential men on the diggings formed the Ballarat Reform League, to represent and advocate for the Ballarat diggers and their families, and to make representations to the government about the causes of the riot. But with no satisfactory discussions taking place, the miners lost all patience and resolved that the only course of action open to them, was armed resistance. A flag was raised, oaths sworn and the men set about organising a defensive stockade.
Brilliant stories from Australia’s past!