Separate North Queensland state a reality
North Queensland would become a state in its own right if a referendum on the issue was held today, exclusive polling conducted by ReachTEL in Townsville has revealed.
The poll, commissioned by Katter’s Australian Party, has revealed almost 36 per cent of Townsvillians “strongly agree” with the push for a North Queensland to secede from the state’s south while 21 per cent “agree”.
Around 17 per cent of people are indifferent, while collectively 26 per cent “disagree” or “strongly disagree”.
The poll, conducted in late September, surveyed around 350 locals across the state electorate of Mundingburra.
Buoyed by the results, KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has announced his party’s plans to push for a referendum within six months of the next parliament on whether the North should take control of its future and officially separate from the south.
The referendum question would be posed to North Queenslanders only, with the boundary to be drawn strategically alongside the Tropic of Capricorn (north of Rockhampton).
Mr. Katter said it was clear the only way North Queensland would get a fair go was for us to be able to determine our own future.
“By definition, a referendum is direct democracy in action and that is 100 per cent consistent with what we are setting out to achieve here,” he said.
“And the LNP and Labor are afraid of even letting us have a vote to decide our future.’”
Mr Katter said people in the North should not be surprised at the determination of the LNP and Labor to prevent North Queensland from having a vote its future.
They are constantly looking over their shoulders to butter up to Brisbane’s inner suburbs regardless of the effect on regional Queensland,” Mr Katter said.
“”You only have to look at the LNP’s decision to preference the Greens in every seat, all the key decision makers in the public service sitting in Brisbane issuing instructions about how we should live our lives and run our businesses, Labor’s and the LNP’s spending billions on more road systems around Brisbane, but putting upgrading the Bruce Highway on the ‘sometime/maybe’ system and the LNP’s and Labor’s willingness to spend millions on an Olympic Games bid but not being able to find money for dialysis machines in North Queensland.”
In September, 2016 the LNP voted with Labor to oppose the KAP in a motion to establish of a separate state of North Queensland.
Again in March, 2018 the LNP and Labor even opposed a KAP proposal to conduct a $250,000 feasibility study into how much it would cost to divide Queensland into two separate states.
But Mr Katter said the major parties’ blatant disregard of the proposal was now being drowned out by a growing tide of support from both Queenslanders and Independent MPs.
Last month, Independent MP Jason Costigan backflipped on his previous dismissal of the plan and pledged his support for a North Queensland state.
The KAP labelled the Mr Costigan’s moves as the height of hypocrisy considering the Whitsunday MP’s history of helping to block the KAP’s past attempt to fund a feasibility study when he was a member of the LNP.
Then, The Courier Mail released its Your Say 2020 survey results showing almost half of North Queensland respondents expected a split between the north and the south within three decades. 
Mr Katter said finally holding referendum on the issue was the key first step in understanding what was the best future for North Queensland.
“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,” he said.
“They have everything to lose by separating, but we in the North have everything to gain.”