State of North Queensland

The State of North Queensland is a proposed state of Australia, to be formed out of the current state of Queensland.

Under the Constitution of Australia, section 124, a new state can be created 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".[1]

In 1852, John Dunmore Lang proposed – in his book Freedom and Independence for the Golden Lands of Australia: the right of the colonies, and the interest of Britain and of the world the division of the future colony of Queensland into three subdivisions.[2]

A committee of businessmen in Townsville first pushed for a separate state in July 1882.[3]

The separatist movement in North Queensland was fostered by the sugar planters, who saw the existence of the sugar industry threatened by the "abolitionist" movement in South Queensland for the suppression of Kanaka labour.[4]

One proposal is that Queensland should be divided by the 22nd parallel with the boundary running just south of Sarina on the coast to the Northern Territory border between Boulia and Mount Isa[5]

According to The Courier-Mail in 2010, the majority of North Queensland mayors were in favour of the separation from Queensland proper. Only two of the 100 delegates at the NQ Local Government Association meeting were against the proposal – the two being Mayor Val Schier (Cairns) and Mayor Ben Callcott (Charters Towers).[6]

In 2013, social demographer Bernard Salt said that Townsville would go from regional powerhouse to metropolitan city by 2026, and that there are fewer people living in the state of Tasmania than in North Queensland.[7]

Supporters of the North Queensland state include Geoffrey Blainey,[8] and Member of Parliament Bob Katter and former member Clive Palmer.[9][10][11]

One of many proposals stated that North Queensland would contain 785,890 people, ranking slightly above that of Tasmania, although lower than that of South Australia. In area, it would be 735,300 square kilometers, ranking between New South Wales and Victoria, and bringing Queensland down to the third largest state/territory in Australia.

While the Liberal National Party Coalition voted down a motion to hold a referendum at a state convention, it was backed by Senator Matt Canavan and MP George Christensen.[12]

Parties in favour

See also


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