A RAILWAY engine driver from Bathurst, Ben Chifley became one of the most highly regarded of Australia’s Prime Ministers.
According to the National Archives of Australia, Ben Chifley was a committed centralist who introduced national projects such as the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme and the assisted immigration program.
He also pushed through legislation that enabled the Commonwealth to become the collector of income tax and sought nationalisation of the private banks so that the federal government could have more control over the economy.
Chifley lost office at the 1949 federal election, after his attempt to nationalise the banks.
Here are photos from the Fairfax archives looking at the life of Australia’s 16th Prime Minister, Ben Chifley.