Robbie Katter says North Queensland state is 'gonna happen'

Fraser Barton
AAP
2 Min Read
Robbie Katter says a separate north Queensland state is "gonna happen at some point". (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)
Robbie Katter says a separate north Queensland state is "gonna happen at some point". (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

A push to make north Queensland a separate state has gained momentum — yet again.

Robbie Katter on Wednesday moved a motion in state parliament to split Queensland, claiming the north was being neglected by southeast powerbrokers.

It was the state MP’s latest attempt to cut ties with the South.

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Six years ago he moved a similar motion, even calling for a $250,000 feasibility study.

His father — federal MP Bob Katter — has been on his own decades-long quest.

Robbie Katter believes the time is right for another attempt, saying more needs to be done for residents outside the southeast.

The Katter’s Australian Party leader dismissed talk of a power grab, claiming the north had been left behind amid enormous infrastructure spending by the state government.

“The majority of the policy coming out here is actually doing more damage than good to the regions,” he said on Wednesday.

Mr Katter said billion-dollar upgrades had been provided to southeast projects like the Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro and the 2032 Olympic Games.

However, he claimed regional areas lacked basic infrastructure, ensuring they were effectively shut off from food supplies when natural disasters hit.

The Traeger MP called for a vote on a state split to be held outside of the southeast, saying it would provide an accurate gauge for the north’s desire to separate.

He said if successful the new state’s economic viability would be supported by the north’s mineral-rich areas.

Mr Katter on Wednesday could not say where the geographical line would be drawn to split the state.

However, he was confident a separate state for the north was “gonna happen at some point”.

“The constitution was written for it expecting that we would make this happen,” he said.

“We’ve just been too near-sighted and lineal in our approach to government and it’s beyond the capacity, imagination, and bandwidth of most politicians in this house.

“When the United States has created over 20 new states, we’ve created zero in Australia.”

Queensland has a population of about 5.5 million, with more than four million living in the southeast.

Section 124 of the Australian Constitution allows for the separation of a territory from a state, but any move would need the approval of both the Queensland and federal parliaments.

In 1933, Western Australia tried to cut ties through the only secession referendum held in Australia.

The vote was a success however the move was eventually rejected by the UK House of Commons.

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