Would it weaken or strengthen Australia as a nation?
How could it happen?
S.124 of the Constitution says that it has to be the existing Parliament that separates the area to be the new State. The motion in 2016 moved by the Member for Mt Isa, Robbie Katter, to progress towards separation was defeated by people sitting in George Street, Brisbane.
We deserve the right to make the decision that affects us – i.e. a referendum of the people of the North. To get that referendum we need people elected to Parliament to give us the balance of power to force the issue.
Has a referendum happened before in any other state? Yes, it has! In 1967, a referendum was held for the state of New England in NSW. We in the North could have a referendum in the same manner as was held there.
Section 124 of the Constitution provides:
Formation of new States.
124. A new State may be formed by separation of territory from a State, but only with the consent of the Parliament thereof, and a new State may be formed by the union of two or more States or parts of States, but only with the consent of the Parliaments of the States affected.
If the Queensland Parliament passed an Act to separate North Queensland as a separate state, the Commonwealth would then have a role under s.121 to establish the new state.
GEORGE CHRISTENSON – Member for Dawson
“The idea of a separate state for North Queensland should be determined by a referendum of North Queenslanders only”, Member for Dawson George Christensen says.
"This issue has been talked about for too long and what we really need now is some action.
The people of the north deserve a fair hearing on this, and a group of influential state, federal and local government leaders would be well placed to push for a referendum on the formation of a new state of North Queensland.
Such a referendum should only be open for North Queenslanders to vote in." Mr Christensen said this was an issue he had advocated for since he was first elected, and he believed the top half of the state had all the necessary attributes to be a ‘super state’.
"Right now we're being told what we can and can't do here by a government that is located 1 000 km plus from where we live, and it's a government that's beholden to capital city interests," he said.
"And in most cases those capital city interests are not aligned with our interests at all.
We have the resources, we have the agricultural footprint, and we've got some of the best tourism spots in the country.
Why couldn't we go it alone and be the best performing state in the nation?”
Source: The Chronicle 'Should North Queensland be its own state?' [online]
Updated 30th Mar 2016, 6:13AM
BOB KATTER – Member for Kennedy
"Whilst we have great respect for the Treasurer and the Treasury, what they have said is an argument for the State of North Queensland, not an argument against it. This is a triumph of the obvious. The Treasury data from the last census shows the gross regional product of tropical Queensland was about $75 billion – compared to $130 billion in Brisbane. The state total was $270 billion.
It begs the question – why does the south have $130 billion and we only have $75 billion?
We’ve got no dams……
There are only five House of Representative seats in North Queensland and minimal senators which is a huge disparity in the value of the North Queensland vote compared to other jurisdictions. North Queensland is a loser from a voter perspective and a net loser in public investment. There are a half a million people in NQ, with one resident Senator.
Queensland’s income comes almost solely from the four C’s: coal, cane, cattle and copper -- all almost exclusively come from North Queensland. And the tourism between Mackay and Cairns is bigger than the Gold Coast. The base of the state’s economy comes from the north.”
Source: KAP News 'Treasury calculations make an argument for the state of North Queensland, not against it' [online]
1 Apr 2016
MATTHEW CANAVAN – Senator
Liberal National Party (LNP) Senator Matthew Canavan has called for the creation of a new state in Queensland's north.
The former chief of staff to Barnaby Joyce says he moved to Rockhampton to give a greater voice to central Queensland.
He said: “There are only three senators [now only two] based north of the Tropic of Capricorn and splitting Queensland would give regional people more representation.
That's three people for 800,000 to one million people depending where you draw the boundary," Senator Canavan said.
"Tasmania has 12 senators for 500,000 people - I don't think that's fair.
I think we need to create states so we get a better balance in our Senate and north Queensland doesn't get dictated to by Tasmania."
Senator Canavan says there are provisions in the constitution to create more states.
"I think it is a concern that state governments have become bloated and removed from their local communities," he said.
"A lot of people like to talk about abolishing the states. I don't think that will ever happen.
But we can create more of them and that can get government back to the people and be leaner and meaner and more efficient."
In an interview with the Courier Mail, Senator Canavan said, “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."
Source: ABC News 'Rookie LNP Senator Matthew Canavan calls for Queensland split' [online]
Updated 2nd Jul 2014, 10:10AM
On 28 July 1910, the Labor Member for Barcoo, T.J. Ryan, introduced into the Legislative Assembly of the Queensland Parliament a motion for the separation of Northern and Central Queensland States.
On 25 November 1910, the Honourable W.G. Higgs, Federal Labor Member for the seat of Capricornia, moved the following motion in the Federal House of Representatives:
That this House is prepared, in accordance with Chapter VI of the Commonwealth Constitution, to form two new States out of the Territory known as Northern and Central Queensland.
On 6 July 1922, in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, the Labor Member for Rockhampton petitioned for the State of QLD to be split.
Nothing new here!
In 1948, Tommy Aikens, the Independent member for Mundingburra (1944-1977), complained that "…in North Queensland working-class families of long standing are preparing to leave the North and its long slack period unemployment, and migrate to Brisbane with its near-permanence of employment and abundant and varied recreation during the long week-ends" (Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Mar 2016).
In 1896, the Queensland Labor member for Rockhampton, William Kidston, moved a motion for a referendum for the separation of northern and central colonies.