Despite agreement on a draft Constitution, the federation movement ground to a halt in 1891. Local economics and politics were still more important.
In December 1891, after battling an unsympathetic parliament, Sir Henry Parkes resigned as Premier of New South Wales. Federation was put aside.
The Federation Leagues and Australian Natives Association worked to promote federation to the people. In 1893, a conference was held on the banks of the Murray River at Corowa, New South Wales.
At the 1893 Corowa Conference, Victorian lawyer Dr John Quick proposed a three-step process to achieve a federal Constitution.
In 1897, the first of Quick’s steps was carried out. Each colony elected representatives to attend a federal convention.
Between 1897 and 1898, the second of Quick’s steps was achieved. The Australasian Federal Convention of 1897–98 consisted of three sessions, spanning three cities and 82 days.
Ten elected delegates represented each colony at the 1897–98 Australasian Federal Convention, except Queensland which did not attend.
On 17 March 1898, New South Wales politician and leader of the convention, Edmund Barton, moved that the draft Constitution be adopted by the convention.
Edmund Barton moved that the draft Constitution be accepted by the convention.
The third and final of Quick’s steps required that the draft Constitution be put to the people. Referendums were held in each colony from 1898 to 1900.