Pada tahun 1898 referendum popular untuk membentuk persekutuan yang dicadangkan telah diadakan di NSW, Victoria, Australia Selatan dan Tasmania. Semua undi membawa majoriti bersetuju, tetapi kerajaan NSW bawah pemerintahan [[George Reid]] (lebih dikenali sebagai "ya-ntidak Reid" kerana sering berubah pendapat mengenai isu itu) menetapkan syarat undi "ya" yang lebih tinggi daripada sekadar majoriti mudah yang tidak dipenuhi.
In 1899 further referendums were held in the same states as well as Queensland ( but not Western Australia). All resulted in yes votes with majorities increased from the previous year. NSW met the conditions its government had set for a yes vote. As a compromise to the question on where the capital was to be located, an agreement was made that the site was to be within NSW but not closer than 100 miles (161 km) from Sydney. Eventually the area that now forms the [[Australian Capital Territory]] was ceded by NSW when [[Canberra]] was selected.
=== Early 20th century ===