State of the north

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

I HAVE just heard Sen­a­tor Matt Canavan on Ra­dio Na­tional, talk­ing hap­pily about a new state for North Queens­land.

He stressed more than once that North Queens­land has more peo­ple than Tas­ma­nia. But, when asked about the new state’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment, he ca­su­ally breezed past the is­sue as though it didn’t mat­ter.

He showed he was quite happy for North Queens­land to have fewer senators and MPs than Tas­ma­nia.

So, for the LNP, a new state for North Queens­land doesn’t mean that North Queens­lan­ders will have all the rights which other Queens­lan­ders will keep. The LNP would be quite happy for North Queens­lan­ders to go back­wards and be­come sec­ond-class cit­i­zens, like those who live in ter­ri­to­ries.

This means, of course, that it wouldn’t mat­ter what laws the par­lia­ment of North Queens­land might pass – politi­cians from out­side North Queens­land but in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment in Can­berra would strike them down if they didn’t like them.

And with North Queens­land be­ing un­der-rep­re­sented in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment, this wouldn’t worry any of those out­siders.

Sen­a­tor Canavan knows that sec­tion 121 of the Con­sti­tu­tion gives the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment the right to de­cide how new states will be rep­re­sented and what pow­ers they will have.

All the more rea­son for him and the LNP to in­sist from the very be­gin­ning that North Queens­land has ev­ery sin­gle bit of the law-mak­ing power of any other state, as well as the same Fed­eral Par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tion as any other state. But he sim­ply didn’t care to men­tion this. GTW Agnew Coop­ers Plains

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