AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Becoming Independent State Within Commonwealth?

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By Politicoscope August 30, 2017 13:01
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Liberal Party life member Rick Palmer, who is leading the push, said the issue was on the conference agenda because of a belief that WA was being badly treated by Canberra and other states.

“My view is the federation is not working the way it is supposed to,” Rick Palmer said.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Becoming Independent State Within Commonwealth?

Fury over Western Australia’s low share of the GST has sparked ­renewed secessionist sentiment, with a controversial “Waxit” ­motion to be debated at this weekend’s Liberal Party state conference in the presence of Malcolm Turnbull.

The motion — expected to be backed by WA Liberal Party president and the state’s highest profile secessionist Norman Moore — calls for a committee to be formed to examine the option of “Western Australia becoming an independent state within the commonwealth”.

If the motion is successful, the committee will comprise three former Liberal MPs, three members of state council and a member of the state executive.

It would make recommendations by next July but any policy change would not be binding on the WA Liberal Party’s parliamentary wing.

Liberal Party life member Rick Palmer, who is leading the push, said the issue was on the conference agenda because of a belief that WA was being badly treated by Canberra and other states.

“My view is the federation is not working the way it is supposed to,” he said.

Mr Palmer cited a range of grievances, including rising frustration that WA would receive only 34c for every dollar of GST collected in the state this year.

He said it was unfair that WA was being punished for developing its resources industry while states such as Victoria and NSW banned onshore gas exploration, Tasmania was happy to remain “the biggest national park in the world” and South Australia was being powered by “windmills”.

Mr Palmer even raised the Australian Rugby Union’s recent decision to axe the Western Force from the national competition as another example of the east coast “screwing” WA.

The Prime Minister will ­address the state conference on Saturday when the motion, which has been dubbed “Waxit” on the formal list of policy motions, is due to be debated.

At last year’s conference, Mr Turnbull promised to implement a floor below which no state’s share of the GST could fall. But the pledge has yet to be enacted and the Liberals face a voter backlash in WA at the next election.

West Australians voted overwhelmingly in 1933 to secede, but the commonwealth opposed the move and successfully lobbied the British parliament to reject it.

Constitutional law experts say any attempt by WA to leave the federation would need to be put to a national referendum and be ­approved by a majority of voters in a majority of states.

In other policy motions, Liberal delegates will debate whether to call on the federal government to “oppose any move towards ­facilitating a treaty with, or ­between, any groups of Australia’s citizens based on ancestral, ethnic, religious or linguistic differences”.

The WA Liberal Students ­Association have moved a motion for the Turnbull government to halve Australia’s level of foreign aid. Another motion calls for the federal government to ensure that its support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict “be contingent on the Palestinian leadership’s unconditional recognition of Israel”.

The Fremantle division wants the government to introduce right of passage to “persecuted Euro­pean minorities” in South Africa and Zimbabwe, enabling them to resettle in Australia.

– Australian



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By Politicoscope August 30, 2017 13:01
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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