Brisbane newspaper, The Courier Mail, (27/09/2012) ran another article on the quest by north Qld mayors for more autonomy in regional economic management. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/north-queensland-wants-to-go-it-alone-and-create-its-own-economic-zone/story-e6freon6-1226481379617
And an online poll was also conducted which shows, yet again, that support for a new State is very strong in the north and also has a clear majority support in the SE Corner as well. By 4.30pm the following day some 4298 votes had been taken of which 58.17% were in favour. The poll also distinguished between northerners and residents of the urban south east and these responses were in the same proportion as the relative population of the states regions. Some 65% of responses were from SEQ while 29% were from the north.
As an aside, another 6% were apparently from NSW and were given the option of voting in favour of northern autonomy with a view to improving NSW’s chances of winning the state of origin series.
Some 933 (75.06%) of the 1,243 northern responses were in favour of regional autonomy. And so were 1,567 (56.06%) of the 2,795 responses from SEQ. All up, some 2,509 (62.13%) of all Queensland respondents favoured northern autonomy.
The story also attracted 260 comments, a very large proportion of which wanted to go much further than mere autonomy to create a full state within the commonwealth. Many southern respondents cited the possibility of getting daylight saving if the northern voters were no longer included in any referendum on the issue.
The perennial issues of greater access to mining royalties for the north, and the possible loss of them by the south east, were also prominent. This reflects a very widespread lack of understanding of the role of the Commonwealth Grants Commission in ensuring that all states get an equal per capita share of all revenues. Any excess of revenues enjoyed by the north will be redistributed to the rest of the country in the same way that Western Australia complains loudly of at present.
It is also worth noting that the NQ commenters appeared better informed than the SEQ respondents. There was no shortage of knee jerk metrocentric jingoism laced with a belief that the city had been subsidising the bush for years. And many who seemed to think the proposal was for North Qld to completely seperate from Australia.
It is surprising that no political party has ever had a two party preferred majority of 62%, yet we don’t have any party dedicated to serving this overwhelming preference of voters. Even Bob Katter’s Australia Party declined to include north Queensland statehood in its platform at the last election despite Mr Katter’s previous public statements in favour of it.
It seems that his ‘brains trust’ thought they would get more votes by bashing gays. One can only wonder how many more of these polls are needed before the penny drops.
See previous polls with similar results at https://regionalstates.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/feedback-reveals-why-bligh-rejected-new-state-referendum/ and