Bid to split Qld in two, but south won’t get a say
THE Katter's Australian Party will push for a referendum to split North Queensland into its own state within six months of a new parliament, after new polling revealed voters in the region were strongly supportive of seceding from the south.
Polling conducted by the KAP, seen exclusively by the Townsville Bulletin, revealed 57 per cent of respondents "strongly agree" or "agree" with the push for North Queensland to split from the state's south.
About 17 per cent of people polled were indifferent, while a combined 26 per cent "disagree" or "strongly disagree".
The KAP, who are potential kingmakers of Queensland's next parliament, commissioned polling company ReachTEL, with 350 voters in the marginal electorate of Mundingburra polled as part of the survey.
Days away from the election, KAP leader Robbie Katter, who was "buoyed by the results", has announced his party will push for the state government to undertake a referendum within six months of a new parliament forming.
But only North Queenslanders would get a say on whether secession would happen.
The boundary of the state would be "drawn strategically" alongside the Tropic of Capricorn, north of Rockhampton.
Mr Katter asserts it's "clear" the only way North Queensland can get a "fair go" was for the region to be able to "determine our own future" by ditching the south.
He warned it would be unsurprising if the two major parties shot down his plans, as they had done before in the last four years.
According to Mr Katter, the LNP voted with Labor to oppose the KAP in a motion to establish a separate state of North Queensland in September 2016 and again in March 2018 when the KAP proposed a $250,000 feasibility study into how much it would cost to divide Queensland into two separate states.
"They are constantly looking over their shoulders to butter up to Brisbane's inner suburbs regardless of the effect on regional Queensland," he said.
"We know that while there has been a push for North Queensland statehood since before federation, but the Queensland Government is controlled by Brisbane and therefore has always refused us this chance."
The announcement comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington make last minute desperate trips up to Townsville in a bid to sandbag and win key marginal electorates in the region.
Originally published as Bid to split Qld in two, but south won't get a say