One of the common objections raised to those of us who want self-government for the broader New England is administrative complexity. Wouldn't the creation of a new state structure be complicated? Well, no, and to illustrate here are two maps.
The first map shows the distribution of land services boundaries in the North. The Hunter, North West, Northern Tablelands and North Coast Districts cover most of the traditional new state territory.
The next mao shows the health and human services boundaries, Again, the same broad pattern, in this case with three divisions, Hunter New England, Mid North Coast and Northern NSW. Most if not all of the administrative divisions display the same pattern, a pattern dictated by geography.
All this makes self government relatively easy to achieve in administrative terms, although there would be adjustments at the southern and western boundary edges, All that is required is the re-grouping of existing administrative units.
If he boundaries already reflect geography, does this weaken the new state case/ Not at all, Under the present system, most of those units finally headquarter in Sydney. Each of them is run as isolated entities within central frameworks dictated by NSW. They do interact, but only through head office. Despite what is sometimes called localisation, their decision making power is very limited, nor is there any mechanism for addressing common Northern concerns. From a Northern perspective, fragmentation rules.
The next time someone says how hard it would be in administrative terms to break up the NSW system say no, the existing administrative units whether in health or education or land management already reflect the basic geography of New England.
We want to reform the system by regrouping all the existing and often varying administrative units within New England together so that they can work more effectively together in meeting New England needs.From the viewpoint of the ordinary public servant in New England, their basic job won't change. What will change is their ability to work with colleagues across regions, to do new things in as simpler world.
If you don't think that that's attractive, have a chat to any of the local staff trying to cope in the world of the NSW mega-departments, trying to deal with roles and systems created far away! Self-government would give us an opportunity to simplify things, to focus, to do their jobs more easily.