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John Forrest was an Australian explorer, the first Premier of Western Australia and a cabinet minister in Australia's first federal parliament. As a young man, John Forrest won fame as an explorer by leading three expeditions into the interior of Western Australia. He was appointed Surveyor General and in 1890 became the first Premier of Western Australia, its only premier as a self-governing colony. Forrest's premiership gave the state ten years of stable administration during a period of rapid development and demographic change. He pursued a policy of large-scale public works and extensive land settlement, and he helped to ensure that Western Australia joined the federation of Australian states. After federation, he moved to federal politics, where he was at various times postmaster-general, Minister for Defence, Minister for Home Affairs, Treasurer and acting Prime Minister.
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