A North Queensland MP has detailed a bold plan to split the state in two so city slickers can stop telling those in the north “what to do”.
Whitsundays MP and leader of North Queensland First Party Jason Costigan wants to create the seventh state in the country, renaming the north the “reef state”.
Mr Costigan is the sitting member for the Whitsunday electorate but was elected as a LNP member before being expelled from that party in 2019, after which he established the North Queensland First in 2019.
The party website, explaining the reef state proposal, says wealth generated from the Bowen Basin, the North West Minerals Province and soon-to-be developed Galilee Basin should be funnelled into North Queensland rather than the southeast.
Mr Costigan told 2GB radio on Tuesday the idea of splitting Queensland into two states has been discussed since the state broke away from NSW in 1859.
“But it’s reared its ugly head here in the sense that there’s more and more people with the sense of being alienated by both major parties in the southeast corner,” he said.
Laws to introduce croc shooting
Mr Costigan says he wants North Queensland to establish its own state to introduce laws to shoot crocodiles and allow the burning of coal.
“When we talk about shooting crocs we’re talking about having laws in place so we can have crocodiles controlled because they’re out of control in the north and the far north, we want to burn coal for cheaper electricity for people,” he said.
“We’re having people in Brisbane 1000 kilometres away telling us what to do, telling us to suck eggs.”
Mr Costigan added there were about a million people living in North Queensland, Far North Queensland and Central Queensland.
He said the “reef state” would have a gross state product that would be comparable to a state like South Australia with a $70 billion economy.
“We could do a lot more for the nation with our agricultural sector, our mining sector – we can actually make a contribution to the nation as well as having autonomy,” he said.
We should have more states, Costigan says
Mr Costigan told news.com.au the attitude Brisbane knew best was “bulls***”.
“We are a continent as well as a country. We should have more states,” he said.
“And the immigration will just continue into our cities, so we’re going to end up as a nation of five big cities and I don’t think that’s good for the nation. It’s dumb.”
Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31, but on the first day of pre-poll voting 100,000 people cast their ballots.
More than 800,000 of Queensland's voters have applied for postal votes.
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