On 4 August 1888, Reefton became the first town in New Zealand to have its own public electricity supply powered by hydrogeneration. In Australia, the first supply of electricity to the public at large was in two small country towns in New South Wales. Tamworth, with a population of 3,000, switched on arc and incandescent street lighting on 9 November 1888. In April 1889, the smaller town of Young switched on its incandescent street lighting and shortly thereafter went on to connect shops, offices, and homes within reach of its lines. However, the history of electricity supply in Australia traces back earlier, with Brisbane as one of the first cities in Australia to use electricity commercially, in 1882. Thus, electricity utilization down under coincided with the history of its emergence among the countries of the Northern Hemisphere.
Accounting involves the recording of events, the preparation and reporting of results and is a key medium in discharging accountability. It pervades organisations and institutions in every country and is a key element of the business fabric and economic development of any nation. This study examines the development of accounting regulation, education, and literature in Australia across five key phases of European settlement from 1788 to 2005 and presents an overview of the major historical trends in each of these periods. The development of accounting and the profession is intimately linked with significant economic development in Australia over 200 years.