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Exhibition 1891 
Policing in Australia Since 1788 - In the Line of Duty
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Shearer's Strike Police camp near Clermont Station

QLD 1891

1891 Shearer's Strike

Queensland Police Museum

Police camped at Clermont Station during the Shearer's Strike, 1891. Mounted police wearing white breeches are carrying Matini-Henry Artillery Carbines and the foot police are holding Martini-Henry rifles. This was a joint military-police action at an estimated cost of 10,000. At one property, where stockemen were refused time off on Sundays for washing and cleaning, a strike was averted through negotiation. But bush unions were emerging in strength and by early 1891 masses of shearers were withholding their labour. At the urging of pastoralists Government acted with a show of power. Police often found themselves between opposing forces, allowing union leaders to greet trains bringing in non-union labout, at the same time escorting this non-union labour safely from one spot to another. Most crimes were against property; woolsheds burnt, shops destroyed, etc. And although both police and strikers were armed, no-one was killed.

NSW Police Band 1891