Let's create new Australian states (letter)by Jaruj KazokNews Weekly
, May 15, 2010
I fully agree wit Don Ford's past articles in News Weekly
on the need for Australia to decentralise to new states.
It is unhealthy in terms of national survival to have 85 per cent of the Australian population live in five state capital cities.
State capitals currently act like black holes sucking all life and wealth out of regional cities.
Australia's current Constitution does enable the creation of new states; but that provision is not working, because no new state has been created in Australia since Federation.
We must learn from the history of other federations in the world, such as the United States USA, Brazil, India and Switzerland.
The US was formed by 13 states and now has 50 states. In Brazil, the last state was formed as late as 1978. Its name is Tocantins. In India, Sikkim was admitted to India's federation in 1955, and the state of Haryana was created as recently as 1984. In Switzerland, the new canton of Jura was created and accepted in 1973.
These federations, with the exception of India, are older then Australia, yet new states are formed there.
The only precedent we have is the state of South Australia handing over the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth Government in 1911.
In 2011, it will be 100 years since that event. On this anniversary it would be appropriate to grant the NT full statehood under the name of North Australia, or, better still, name it Bartonia after our first prime minister.
Many new states of the US, before they were gained their status, were federal territories for a number of years.
So, instead of relying on governments in state capital cities to grant statehood to some of their territories, we should look to the Commonwealth Government to undertake this task. Many of these territories are far from state capitals and, as a result, are neglected by political parties. This is amply demonstrated by the declining population in many regional cities and towns, such as Whyalla (SA), Broken Hill (NSW), Mount Isa (Qld) and Port Hedland (WA).
It is clearly unhealthy in terms of defence, the economy and democracy for Australia to have such geographically huge states, with the majority of people in each state concentrated in some small corner called a capital city.Jaruj Kazok,
Whyalla Stuart, SA