Let's Talk: Do we need more Australian states?

Ah, Australia. We have 6 states and 2 territories and we’re happy like that, right? Well, not exactly.

It’s been a long time since our states were governed and decided on, and now one of Tony Abbott’s backbenchers believes we should revisit our state system and give it a shake up… with some new states!

In all seriousness, LNP senator Matt Canavan believes new states in Australia would bring the government closer to the people, and highlighted Rockhampton, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Launceston and Ballarat as having the “potential” to become capital cities.

He, of course, is “not about to start drawing lines on a map”.

“It’s a bit strange we’ve had more than 100 years since Federation and we still have the same number of states,” Senator Canavan said, reports the ABC.

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“Ultimately good fences make for good neighbours, and perhaps we need a few more fences in Australia”.

Senator Canavan plans to put a submission into the Federation White Paper, renewing his push for a new state “to better represent” Queensland’s north.

“We’re about the same age as a nation as the USA was in the 1860s, and back then the US had about 30 states,” he said.

“It’s about time we think seriously about it. If we don’t have the courage to talk about that, we’re not going to progress as a country”.

Over the years, various proposals have been dismissed mainly because of the extra cost of new state governments to taxpayers. Some already think state governments are a stretch on budgets so how many more headaches would this idea cause?

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According to Mr Canavan, people in Rockhampton were sick of “continually being overruled and over-governed by governments in capital cities who have had the benefits of development”.

And it seems Canavan isn’t the only one who is behind this idea in the senate – Nationals deputy Barnaby Joyce supports the New England state movement in northern New South Wales.

Starts at 60 readers might remember the two royal commissions and 1967 referendum to create New England in the north of NSW. Clive Palmer and Bob Katter have also recently called for a reshape of Australia’s boundaries.

So far, there’s been no word from the Prime Minister on what he thinks.

 

But we want to know today, should we change the states and add new ones? Or are our states part of our identity? Should we keep them the way they are?