Move­ment to form a Rive­rina state

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

A move­ment to form a Rive­rina state sep­a­rate from NSW will be ac­tively pur­sued.

In­sti­ga­tor David Lan­dini said he has been buoyed by the sup­port and feed­back he has re­ceived so far for the pro­posal.

He said the re­sponse he re­ceived from those who at­tended a pub­lic meet­ing on the move­ment in De­niliquin last week was ‘‘very in­ter­est­ing’’.

‘‘In my opin­ion, the state gov­ern­ment is too metropoli­tan ori­en­tated,’’ Mr Lan­dini said.

‘‘New South Wales is so dom­i­nated by New­cas­tle, Sydney and Wol­lon­gong that it doesn’t mat­ter what we do here, it is highly un­likely our sit­u­a­tion will im­prove, and it is ac­tu­ally more likely to get worse.

‘‘We need to con­sider all op­tions open to us, one of which is to form the Rive­rina into a state sep­a­rate from New South Wales.

‘‘While at­ten­dance at the meet­ing was at the lower end of ex­pec­ta­tions, there was still enough sup­port there to en­cour­age me to move ahead.

‘‘Dis­cus­sion of the var­i­ous pre­sen­ta­tions and cur­rent lo­cal sit­u­a­tion in­cluded in­ter­est­ing ob­ser­va­tions and some frank ex­pres­sion of opin­ions.

‘‘By pop­u­lar de­mand, it was re­solved to pur­sue the for­ma­tion of The Rive­rina as a state sep­a­rate from New South Wales.’’

The pub­lic meet­ing at the De­niliquin RSL on Septem­ber 24 aimed to high­light what Mr Lan­dini be­lieves to be the big­gest fail­ings of the NSW Gov­ern­ment in the lo­cal area.

Gulpa Sawmill prin­ci­pal Ben Danck­ert was asked to speak about the tim­ber in­dus­try fol­low­ing the con­ver­sion of state forests to Na­tional Parks de­spite com­mu­nity ob­jec­tion in 2010, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the Millewa and Gulpa forests within the Mur­ray Val­ley Na­tional Park.

Mr Lan­dini also pre­sented more on The Rive­rina state pro­posal, in­clud­ing po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions and prob­lems and the his­tory of pre­vi­ous move­ments to form a Rive­rina state.

Sim­i­lar at­tempts to form a Rive­rina state were ini­tially made in 1863 — with pe­ti­tions to both Queen Vic­to­ria and the NSW Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly — and again in both the 1920s and the 1930s.

For­mer state mem­ber Adrian Pic­coli also raised the prospect of sep­a­rat­ing parts of the Rive­rina from NSW dur­ing his early years in pol­i­tics. More on the his­toric at­tempts and Mr Lan­dini’s vi­sion is avail­able at www.theriveri­nas­tate.com.au.

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