A North Queensland State: A Procedural Pathway to the 7th State

@JCU A North Queensland State: A Procedural Pathway to the 7th State

Public lecture: A North Queensland State: A Procedural Pathway to the 7th State

Presented by Peter Raffles 

Where: TSV: 9-002, CNS: B1-103

When: Thursday 3 August 12-1pm

All those interested in understanding how North Queensland could become a new state in the Australian federal system are welcome to attend.

No RSVP needed. For more information Contact Robin Rodd: robin.rodd@jcu.edu.au

“Australia has created no new state since 1859; the United States in contrast has created close to 20. For a land of this size we do not have enough states. We thus miss one of the advantages of federalism.”

The call for the separation of North Queensland (NQ) as a separate State was strong during the latter half of the Nineteenth century, and then throughout the course of the Constitutional Conventions of the 1890s. In the post-federation period there have been several petitions calling for areas of existing States, and for the Northern Territory (NT), to become a new State in the federation. One of the issues that has surfaced repeatedly, in the call for creation of new State from an existing State, is what the Constitutional requirements are for the creation of a new State, and then flowing from that what process needs to be followed for the change to occur.

In this Presentation I review the Constitutional provisions relevant to the creation of a new NQ State and examine the key issue of the locus of power to ‘initiate’ the creation of a new State by separation of territory from an existing State. I then review the history of the failed referenda held in New South Wales (NSW) and the NT for the creation of a new State. Then, in light of the NSW and NT experiences, I sketch a possible political and legislative pathway towards the establishment of a new State of North Queensland. Finally, I argue two key points in favour of separation: (i) that North Queensland has been particularly disenfranchised over the century since federation through centralist power shifting at both the State and Federal levels; and (ii) a failed commitment to the North as evidenced in s.7 of the Constitution.

Bio - Peter Raffles LLB; MDR (Hons); Cert. Arb.

Peter was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1993 and the High Court of Australia in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from James Cook University, a Master of Dispute Resolution with Honours from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and a Certificate in Arbitration from Adelaide University. He also holds a commercial pilot license and is a marine mechanic/fitter by trade. Peter is an ardent advocate for the creation of a new State of North Queensland in the Australian federation, and has co-founded the NQ State Party to contest seats in the next state election.