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15 April 1971 Age of majority lowered to 18 years

 15 April 1971   Age of majority lowered to 18 years

On 15 April 1971 legislation which gave adult rights to 18 year-olds in South Australia was proclaimed. Premier Don Dunstan introduced the Age of Majority (Reduction) Bill in October 1970 and it was given assent on 8 April 1971. The Act allowed 18 year-olds the right to make binding contracts, serve on juries, engage in gambling and also the right to drink in hotels and to purchase liquor. The legal age to drink in hotels was lowered to 20 in 1968.

Other areas of legislation also had to be changed e.g. Administration and Probate Act, Builders Licensing, Pistol Licensing and the Licensing of Surveyors, and many others, to allow 18 year-olds their rights. The new laws on voting rights were to take effect on 30 June 1972 unless the Commonwealth Government lowered the age for federal elections before then. However, the voting age for federal elections was not adjusted until 1973. The South Australian government could not deal with marriage laws as these came under federal legislation.

Advertise,r  23 October 1970, 10 April 1971, p. 3.
A Parliamentary Debates, 1971-72, p. 2008.

Tags: age of majority