Queensland politicians are pushing for the northern part of the Sunshine State to break off into its own, separate state.
Others say a Northern Australia state — comprising the top parts of Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia — would be more appropriate. Is Australia about to get a seventh state?
Australia has a proud history of proposing new states, or seceding from the Australian federation entirely; just check out this surprisingly long and detailed Wikipedia page. A recent push by politicians in the northern parts of Queensland has added one more to the list.
Pollies including Katter’s Australian Party members Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter, and controversial ex-Labor MP Rob Pyne, have put their weight behind a push for North Queensland to become a state in its own right, breaking away from Queensland. Criticisms of the current system say that political powers focus too much on the southern parts of the state, ignoring and taking advantage of the north.
They say it is hard to expect the state’s parliament and decision-makers in Brisbane to focus on the northern parts of Queensland, when the state’s capital is 2700 km away from its northernmost point. Geographically, the distance from Brisbane to Sydney — 900 km — is one-third of the distance of Brisbane to Queensland’s northern tip.
Since the push came to light in the Courier Mail on Sunday, Queensland politicians have weighed in on the debate. Federal Member for Cairns, Warren Entsch, wants to see northern Queensland combined with the Northern Territory and Western Australia for a new “Northern Australia” state.
“What I think is inevitable — but a long way away because of parochialism — is looking at voting for a northern Australia state,’’ he said, the Courier Mail reports.
The North Queensland proposal already has a major federal backer in Northern Australia Minister Senator Matt Canavan. He told the Courier Mail that “I personally support new states being created as a way of driving the development of our country and especially of Queensland.
“Queensland is a big state to be ruled from just one corner in Brisbane.” So yes; it could happen. To read more click here.
The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential will be held on 20-22 June 2016 at Darwin Convention Centre.
The Conference continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE. Early bird registrations close 6 May 2016, so be quick to receive a discounted rate.