Sir William Milne (17 May 1822 – 23 April 1895) was an Australian entrepreneur and politician, serving as the member for Onkaparinga in the South Australian House of Assembly from 1857 to 1868. He was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1869, and was its president from 25 July 1873 to 1881.
Born in Wester-Common, near Glasgow, Milne was educated in Glasgow and emigrated to South Australia, arrving in the Palmyra at Port Adelaide on 29 October 1839, where he became a successful wine and spirit merchant. Milne married Eliza Disher on 4 March1842. They had three sons and five daughters
In 1857 Milne sold his distillery and was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly as one of the members for Onkaparinga. Milne served as commissioner of Crown Lands and immigration in the ministry of John Baker from 21 August to 1 September 1857, under Richard Hanson from 5 July 1859 to 9 May 1860, under Henry Ayers from 22 July to 4 August 1864 and under James Boucaut from 28 March 1866 to 3 May 1867. In the ministry of George Marsden Waterhouse, Milne served as Commissioner of Public Works from 19 February 1862 to 4 July 1863, and in the Arthur Blyth ministry from 4 August 1864 to 22 March 1865.
Milne transferred to the Legislative Council in 1869 and was elected its president in 1873, serving until his retirement in 1881. Milne served as chief secretary in the John Hart ministry from 30 May 1870 to 10 November 1871 and under Blyth from 10 November 1871 to 22 January 1872.
When Milne was in the Crown Lands Department, he introduced a regulation to encourage farmers to buy land; introduced an amendment to the Scab in Sheep Act which helped to eliminate the disease; and introduced drainage to reclaim tracts of land.
He was a member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society and its president from 1860 to 1861..
Knighted in 1876, Milne died in 1895..
•Obituary of Sir William Milne Adelaide Advertiser 25 April 1895
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