Amidst the shock of an armed civilian uprising against the police, broader public opinion rounded firmly upon the Chinese.
The logic here was that their presence had driven a peaceful mining community to acts of insurrection. The demand for strong action on “the Chinese Question” was unrelenting.
Significantly this coincided with a newly composed state upper house – the Legislative Council – whose new array of members took up their duties in September. It was the previous Council that had vetoed Government legislation to effectively stop Chinese immigration via an entry tax in accordance with the Victorian model.
Hence it was time to revisit that legislation and game, set and match for racial prejudice. It was also goodbye to those moderate voices who argued for the rightful place of the Chinese to contribute to colonial society.
The last major arrival of Chinese took place in March 1862. Over the next ten years their numbers in the colony halved from their peak in 1861 of 14,000 to 7,000 by 1871.