Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Who will be Australia's Seventh State?

NT Logo

Look, I know that the Northern territory wants to be Australia's seventh state. But seriously, New England was there first and deserves the title. 

We have been trying for self government for more then 150 years. We want our go.

The ABC has an interesting info graphic on changes in Australia since Federation. Have a play. it's quite fun.

In 1901, Sydney had 36 per cent of the NSW population. New England had over a quarter of the then NSW population, not all that far behind. We had more people than most of the then Australian sates.

By 1945, Sydney's population was 50 per cent of the state total, and New England was falling behind. Yet even in the 1950s we had more people than Tasmania, WA and SA, and were not all that far behind Queensland.

Today NSW is classified as the sick state, and New England is a large pimple on Sydney's bum.

Isn't it time to give us our go?

In 1924, the NSW Cohen Royal Commission accepted that the country had been disadvantaged relative to Sydney.  However, the Commission said, this is no longer true. There are other ways of achieving the new state goal; regional councils are the answer. Hah! Where are those councils?

In 1867 at our plebiscite, those opposed to self government said that New England would gain by staying in NSW, that we could not afford statehood. Oh yes?

Why are most of NSW's poor towns in New England? Why have our opportunities shrunk? Why aren't there any jobs for those who want to go home?

Bluntly, we couldn't have done worse. Why not give us a go now?

Sydney really needs to worry about it's own needs. If New England gets self government and fails, then that's our responsibility. So give us our chance!


Stu said...

Statehood can only be good for New England. As the ABC graphic shows the proportion of population of NSW that lives in Sydney has steadily grown until about 1975 where it's remained stable. But at 63% it has the majority of the population but I'd suggest about 90% of the money is spent in Sydney.

Barry O'Farrell has sniffed the discontent in New England and offered to promote Newcastle to host an Expo in 2017, but we haven't heard a word about that since the election and I'd say we won't hear anything further as Sydney and Barangaroo becomes top priority.

To address the question I think you need to put together an online petition and host it on the site.

Greg said...

Hallelujah to everything you said, Jim.

We need the issue back out in the public domain again. Barry O'Farrell pledged to debate in parliament any petition that drew 10,000 signatures. This is our chance.

I would walk the streets myself for signatures if I had to, but I know that would not really be necessary. I reckon that we could get 10,000+ signatures in Newcastle alone.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Stu. I have been meaning to ask. Do you want us to put you in touch with the reforming new state movement? If so, email me at ndarala(at)optusnet(dot)com(dot)au.

We hope to have an on-line petition ups in a few weeks.

We can do 10,000.