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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Australian Continent Needs More Countries!

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

The Australian Continent Needs More Countries!

Andrew Ryan

I’ve been paying slightly more attention to Australian politics than usual lately, and all this competitive CALL AN ELECTION AND SEE WHAT AUSTRALIA WANTS JULIA crap is really getting to me. The desire to further one’s own political career taking precedence over the unity of a country is not a pretty thing to watch, and the constant battles the Prime Minister is having against said bullshit is not doing anyone any favours, politicians and average Joes alike. Carbon tax, mining tax, illegal immigrants, natural disasters; hell, even arts funding- it feels as if contemporary Australia is close to crumbling under it’s own weight and size, the evolution of inner city, suburban, rural and regional Australian cultures proving themselves to be too different to have a comfortable representational balance within government. How then, can we remedy this? Well, I think it would be a good idea if the Australian continent were divided up into different countries.

Ever since the early days of this country, there has been talk every few years of Western Australia seceding, based on the belief that it’s too far away from the rest of the high density population areas to warrant being governed from there (plus YRRR TAKING OUR MONEY). Last year, Bob Katter discussed the idea of northern Queensland becoming a state unto itself, and then extended the idea to north Western Australia joining up with NT as a different division of the existing states. While I find Katter to be a little abrasive, the idea of changing borders around to be more suited to land usage and resulting population attitudes is commendable. A family living in Broome has an entirely different set of concerns to that of a family living in suburban Perth, and it’s the same for families in Mt. Isa and Byron Bay. But even if state borders were changed, the effectiveness of government equally appeasing the economic and social concerns of all aspects of the population would still be dismal. Separate nations is the way to go.

If the continent were to be divided up according to climate and existing land usage, I think each area would have a much better chance at prospering than the current situation (and I believe indigenous issues could be better dealt with too). So I’ve drawn up a rough map based on this idea, and will attempt to get you all up in it too. Plant enough seeds and something will grow right…? Each area’s name is influenced by the idea for Western Australia’s name if secession were ever agreed to (not for a loooooonnnnnng time fellas, sorry).

According to my little mappy, the southern border of “Northtralia” begins about half way between Port Hedland and Broome. It cuts across what we call Western Australia on a slight up wards angle, slices the top off native title land in the Northern Territory, dips down a little at the Tablelands, continues the across the Queensland border, swoops under Mt Isa and carries on across to the east coast to stop between Mackay and Rockhampton.

In the west, the eastern border starts inland, south of Broome, flows down with a slow south south east curve, including Telfer and Laverton, but excluding Gibson Desert Nature Reserve, until the border ends east of Caiguna, in the Nuytsland Nature Reserve‎. Perth would remain the capital city, but I expect Geralton and Port Hedland would flourish quietly nicely.

Centralia is mostly desert. The easternmost border starts with slightly inland Queensland, at around about Clermont, moving down then sweeping south west approximately in line with the north most South Australia border, cutting off the North West corner of New South Wales, narrowly avoiding Victoria and ending a touch south east of Victor Harbour. This country’s states could be divided according to existing native title, taking into consideration possible future expansion of native land use. Imagine that!

Southtralia is comprised of Tasmania, some of Victoria, a tiny bit of NSW, and probably all of the Australian Capital Territory too. The western most point starts at Warnambool and goes up and around in a curve to end at Batemans Bay. Included within the borders are Ararat, Echuca, and Albury, while neighbors in Horsham and Wagga Wagga become citzens of Eastralia, which is what I’ve called all the left over land mass, which includes Sydney and Brisbane too.

My stomach is doing weird little backflips at the thought of this alternate reality. Are there enough people/politicians in each of these areas with enough dedication to take them on as separate nations?

There would hardly be any reason for wars between neighbours, and each could easily become a badass trader if each area puts focus on the industries that are suited to their land and climate, which would be logistically much easier than what’s going on now. Trade equals money and resources, these equal building up other cities, this equals increased tourism and trade no doubt… divide up the country and bring people together!

And just think, in a few hundred years, different cultures will develop, different traditions, there will be no more calls about being “un-Australian” is you don’t like AFL, or gambling, or beer, because each country will have its own preferences. Southtralia will be creatively vibrant, Westralia will be full of seaside houses, probably all paid for by the government (see: mining), Centralia would have a large emphasis on indigenous culture… you see what I’m getting at? No more mass media to cover the whole continent, telling us what it means to be Australian. With 5 different countries we could decide for ourselves what it means to be a patriot to our own area. We can choose which nationality and lifestyle we prefer, settle there, and not have to be frustrated by how all the conservatives in inland Queensland are affecting my life and future in Melbourne.

This all makes far more sense to me than the current Australia. I tried having a look around to see if anyone else has spoken about this on the Internet, and I couldn’t find anything. Surely I’m not the first, it seems so obvious! Get in touch and let me know your thoughts. Hypothesising about something I’ll never see happen in my lifetime is something I very much enjoy.