Australasia 1931: Statute of Westminster
Over the course of the 1920s, Britain moved to give all its Dominions greater independence, culminating in 1931 when it passed the Statute of Westminster, turning the British Empire into the British Commonwealth.
24–29 Oct 1929 Wall Street Crash▲
Between opening on 24 October 1929 ("Black Thursday") and close on 29 October ("Black Tuesday"), the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in value from 305.85 to 230.07 in the most devastating stock market crash in United States history. The crash would bring an abrupt end to the Roaring Twenties and signal the beginning of the Great Depression.
3 Feb 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake▲
At 10:47 am a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits Napier, New Zealand, killing 256 people and devastating the Hawke's Bay region. There will be 525 aftershocks recorded in the following two weeks, with effects felt across much of New Zealand.
12 Jun 1931 Reincorporation of Northern Territory▲
After less than five years of existence, North Australia and Central Australia were reincorporated into the Northern Territory.
11 Dec 1931 Statute of Westminster▲
The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Statute of Westminster, establishing legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from Britain. The act was effective immediately in Canada and the Union of South Africa, and was considered irrelevant by the Irish Free State. Of the remaining Dominions, Australia and New Zealand would ratify the act in the 1940s, while Newfoundland would never adopt it due to financial difficulties.