Lambing Flat Riots, 14 July 1861To History
The Gold Rush of the 1850s and '60s brought a significant migrant population of people to New South Wales who settled in several mining communities along the gold belt of the State. Of all the miners who had come here from other countries, the biggest population and the most severely discriminated against were the Chinese.
Following a spate of disagreements with the Chinese miners in Lambing Flat regarding their apparent waste of water, word that 1500 new Chinese miners were headed to join their community sparked a severe riot on 14 July in 1861. Brandishing spades and pickaxes, approximately 2000 white miners attacked the Chinese community, burning their camps and destroying their property, with 250 Chinese severely injured.
It would be one of the most severe race riots in Australian history and led the Australian Government to pass the Chinese Immigration Restriction and Regulation Act in 1861 to control the numbers of Chinese people migrating to the colony.