Monday, October 25, 2010

Who will be Australia's 7th state?

My thanks to Mark Zaicos for this one.

The campaign in the Northern Territory for statehood is underway again. You will find the web site here. This means that New England, North Queensland and the NT are all in competition for the honour of becoming Australia's seventh state. All are using a 7th state slogan.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unlike New England or North Queensland where the existing Government is an obstacle that has to be overcome, the NT Government is driving the new state push. It wants genuine independence as a state, not territory, within the Australian Federation.

As part of the campaign, a series of community forums have been organised. The photo shows the forum in the remote centre of Galiwinku.

The idea of community forums makes a lot of sense and should be considered by the re-emerging New England (Northern) New State Movement as part of its campaign.

I wonder which area will make it first? It's a lot easier for the NT, but we New Englanders have not given up hope!     

1 comment:

Greg said...

Hi Jim, NT, NQ and NE all have good grounds for statehood. The front runner is probably NT since their destiny is largely in their own hands, whereas NQ and NE both have a fight just to get recognition of their claims by their respective state governments.

As an interesting aside, our own campaign could be strengthened by highlighting the sheer size of NSW. A common misconception is that we here in Australia are small fry by international standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wonder how many people know that Australia has the worlds 13th largest economy?

If NSW were a country:
- it would rank in the worlds top 25 largest economies (bigger than the likes of Singapore, Ireland, Portugal, Hong Kong, Greece, Denmark)
- it would rank in the top 35 largest in area
- it would rank in the top 100 by population

By any measure NSW alone is a significant unit and would be comparable to advanced, developed countries such as Austria, Switzerland or South Africa, all of which have many internal political divisions.

NSW police force is one of the largest in the world. NSW health budget alone is larger than the entire GDP of Jamaica, Paraguay or Iceland. If the NSW Health Service was a country it would rank in the top 100 economies by GDP.

NSW is very large by any measure and there is an excessive concentration of wealth and power in Sydney. A carve up into smaller, more manageable political divisions is a logical and sensible way of achieving greater democracy and more equitable distribution of resources.

Just how we press home that point is the question.