Let ne re-open the debate on the important subject of Regional Governments. There can be no doubt that our current structure of three levels of government and competing Houses of Parliament has reached its use-by date.
It is a relic of an old colonial era that was planned by a Parliament in London, most of whom had never ever left the shores of England, and couldn’t comprehend a distance of longer than a hundred miles. Their plans were approved by subservient State Governments here in Australia, who also had the additional vested interest of maintaining their personal and parochial power bases in the capital cities.
Local Governments were then created to enable individual power brokers to have even more power bases, and they were made very small in order to achieve and maintain personal fiefdoms.
We must now take decisive action and replace all state and local governments with regional ones that are given powers to deliver top quality services directly to their people in a far better way than happens now. We can do it with about sixty 60 such governments, and this will give us a perfect reason to close down the Senate in Canberra, as there will be no States to represent.
As it can all be timed to start from 2025 if we take action now, let me list the cities and towns around which the regional governments could be based:
New South Wales: Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Bega, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Bathurst, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Katoomba, Tamworth, Moree, Grafton and Port Macquarie.
Victoria: Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Mildura, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Bairnsdale and Warragul.
Queensland: Brisbane, Toowoomba, Roma, Stanthorpe, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Emerald, Longreach, Mount Isa, Richmond, Townsville, Cairns, Thursday Island and Mackay.
South Australia: Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Renmark, Port Augusta and Port Lincoln.
Western Australia: Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Port Hedland and Broome.
Tasmania: Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Queenstown and Ross.
Northern Territory: Alice Springs and Darwin.
In a number of cases, regional governments would cross existing state borders, such as joining the Gold Coast with the North Coast of New South Wales, putting Tenterfield with Stanthorpe, Mount Gambier with Hamilton, the communities on both sides of the Murray River, etc. The ACT would not be needed, and Canberra would be the headquarters of a regional government as well as the Federal Government, and would expand to cover places like Queenbeyan.
Each of the new Regional Capitals would become a centre of education and have a freight hub which will drive economic growth, thereby decentralising the population of Australia in a really significant way. Most vitally, all regional governments would have only one house of Parliament — no Senate.