Call for new North Qld state

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS WELCOME - Luke Mor­timer Daily Mer­cury

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen has reignited the cam­paign to see a new state cre­ated in the north of Queensland.

The out­spo­ken MP took to Face­book over the week­end, bar­rack­ing for the change and link­ing to the page Yes to a North Queensland state.

Mr Chris­tensen said he has no in­volve­ment in that ven­ture, but backs the push by the sev­eral hun­dred strong group to see the change hap­pen.

“I be­lieve in de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion. Bring­ing gov­ern­ment closer to the peo­ple so they have more con­trol over it,” he said.

“We’ve got mil­lions of peo­ple on the south­east corner of Queensland, the gov­ern­ment clos­est to them – so we’re al­ways go­ing to be ham­strung.

“I’m also a big be­liever in not hav­ing Can­berra run ev­ery­thing.

“It’s so far re­mote from cities like Mackay.

“A State Gov­ern­ment that was for, say, Glad­stone and above it’s go­ing to be much more in touch with the needs and wants of all the peo­ple liv­ing in the area.”

Mr Chris­tensen de­scribed the State Gov­ern­ment as “dom­i­nated by Bris­bane in­ter­ests”.

He also raised the his­toric sep­a­ra­tion of Queensland from New South Wales on June 6, 1859, to es­tab­lish the new colony of Queensland.

“At one point in time, we were run by a gov­ern­ment out of Syd­ney,” he said.

“You had peo­ple say­ing ‘well, this is non­sense’. We should be able to rep­re­sent our­selves. And even­tu­ally they did. The ar­gu­ments peo­ple put up against a north Queensland state would’ve been the same ar­gu­ments peo­ple put up to keep us with NSW.”

Mr Chris­tensen be­lieves a new North Queensland state would see greater wealth from min­ing, agri­cul­tural and other in­dus­tries kept se­curely in the up­per reaches of Queensland.

That would mean a greater spend on in­fras­truc­ture lo­cally, in­stead of feel­ing “ripped off” over “mas­sive in­ner city tun­nels and con­struc­tions”, Mr Chris­tensen said.

When the dis­cus­sion turned to whether there’s a pos­si­bil­ity a new north Queensland state will be cre­ated, Mr Chris­tensen said he be­lieves it will come as pub­lic sen­ti­ment builds.

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