Queensland Could Be Split Into Two States
The Minister for Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, believes it's only a matter of time before the creation of a new north Queensland state.
A bloc of regional MPs, including Katter's Australian Party members Shane Knuth and Rob Katter, last month attempted to reignite the age-old debate with a motion in Queensland's hung parliament.
The KAP members had previously called for the move to be decided by a referendum and Senator Canavan had commented in support of the idea.
But their motion, which would have merely signalled the parliament's agreeance but not prompted any change, gained no traction outside their crossbench trio that also included Cairns MP Rob Pyne.
"That's not the government's policy and it's also not the LNP's policy so it's not something I'm advocating for," Senator Canavan told a Queensland Media Club luncheon on Wednesday.
"But on a personal level I think it would make some sense."
When asked wither he thought the move would ever happen, Senator Canavan replied: "Yes, on balance, I do".
He went on to say that the creation of new states was "almost preordained" in the inception of federation.
"There are three different parts of the constitution which deal with creating a new state," Senator Canavan said.
He added north Queensland, just like South Australia, was at the end of the national electricity market and reiterated his comments from last week that a state target of 50 per cent renewable energy was "mad".
The target could put at risk the region's energy supply, he said.
During his speech, Senator Canavan also talked up the federal government's commitment to developing the north of the country, saying it had invested more than $6 billion as a first step.
North Queensland produced 11 per cent of the country's GDP despite having only six per cent of the population, he said.
"It already does punch above its economic weight."
Do you think Queensland should be split into two separate states?