An Australian politician is pushing for a radical new plan which will see a new state born out of parts of two existing states.
The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released a report after Tim Quilty MP, Member for Northern Victoria, sought independent advice on the economic characteristics of a proposed new state.
The new state Mr Quilty has in mind would combine parts of rural Victoria and rural NSW.
“The proposed new state would include major Victorian regional centres Ballarat, Bendigo, Mildura, Wodonga and Shepparton, and major New South Wales regional centres Wagga Wagga, Albury, Orange, Bathurst and Griffith,” the report released on Thursday says.
The PBO assessed data from 2019 and found the new state would have a population greater than the combined population of Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, with around 1.34 million people.
This new state would reduce Victoria’s population by 12.1 per cent and NSW’s population by 6.7 per cent.
Regional exit, or ‘Rexit’ has been something Mr Quilty had spoken about before and speaking to the Herald Sun on Friday he explained it was something that “has” to happen.
“Every decision the government makes is based purely around the city and there’s just no interest in the regional areas,” he told the Herald Sun.
In September, Mr Quilty, a Liberal Democrat, criticised the Victorian Labor government for keeping Northern Victoria under stage three restrictions.
“There have been very few cases of COVID-19 in the vast majority of regional Victoria, while in the North East there has been zero, yet we are still expected to suffer the damage of restrictions,” Mr Quilty said in a September 7 release.
“This is not only cruel, it also defies logic - there is absolutely no reason to keep people at home, to keep businesses closed in the areas that have no cases.”
On September 4 he said the ‘border bubble’, which allowed for those in border towns to cross over as the borders were closed due to Covid served as a “good template” for a separate state.
“What we need is to be able to make our own decisions entirely independently of metropolitan politicians and bureaucrats,” he said in a release.
“So many of our problems can be traced back to decisions made by pen pushers hundreds of kilometres away who have no comprehension of how we do things here.
“If the communities in this new map were joined together, we would all have a much better system of government and a much better quality of life.”
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