The northern rivers free state movement held its second meeting very much under the radar of the mainstream media at the town of Eureka, near Byron Bay on June 3rd. There were also threats of disruption by people who apparently love centralised government control.

The proposal for a free state covering much of the north of NSW was officially proclaimed in a gathering of more than 200 people at Murwillumbah on April 23rd. The idea has stirred some vocal opposition but has a long history.

Speaking at the Eureka meeting was Kevin Loughrey, retired Australian Army Lieutenant Colonel and independent candidate for Ballina at the last NSW state election, environmental engineer and former Gold Coast independent candidate Charles Blake and Paramarthi Swami, a Hare Krishna leader based in Murwillumbah, who, as a Hindu essentially, is a strong supporter of cows that have long been a mainstay of the region’s agriculture but are under threat from the anti-carbon globalists. The Swami, aka “The Moobah Monk”, is credited with reviving the recent free state movement.

Both the Swami and Mr Loughrey are outspoken opponents of communism, which they see as the underlying ideology behind globalism and the increasing centralisation of power. Mr Blake referenced a similar problem in “regulatory capture” and systems of government worldwide being hijacked. He shared his experiences in PNG developing local cocoa, rice and sustainable timber use.

Mr Loughrey, a prominent inventor and entrepreneur, whose military training included biological warfare, became motivated to join the battle for political independence when the Covid plandemic arrived. He still promotes technological innovations online and promotes open source software. His and Blake’s vast practical experience will be of immense value to the Free State movement.

The Swami recounted his role in the protest camp set up against coal seam gas fracking in the region by the Chinese-owned Arrow Energy. The NSW state government sent a paramilitary police unit and hundreds of other police against the 1000 protesters but eventually the government relented and cancelled the mining application. He compared the fracking push with the mass fracking industry imposed upon rural Louisiana in the US.

As would be expected in Northern NSW, the group is an eclectic and diverse mix of people, but the free state idea itself is far from anything new, radical or anarchistic. As noted in the group’s well-researched background booklet, even before Federation a movement to increase the numbers of colonies and states was active around people like John Dunmore Lang.

The father of Federation, Sir Henry Parkes, noted: “As a matter of reason and logical forecast, it cannot be doubted that if the Union were inaugurated with double the number of present colonies, the growth and prosperity of all would be absolutely assured.”

Also noted was the fact that in 1933 the NSW Nicholson Royal Commission recommended boundaries for three new states within NSW. A New England New State was proposed by Ulrich Ellis and later, the leader of the Country Party Earle Page proposed Grafton as the capital of a new Northern NSW State.

And the push for a free state continued into the 1950s, 60s and as recently as 2004. In 1953, 21 Northern NSW councils (how many are there now?) defied the State Government and held an unofficial referendum on a Free State and won large majorities. However an official referendum in 1967 was narrowly defeated by a 54% no vote. What municipal council today would dare do such a thing as standing up against a state government?

In 2004 the NSW Farmers Association resolved at their annual meeting to explore a non-metropolitan state – an idea supported at the time by independent MP for New England, Tony Windsor.

A spokesman for the group who identifies himself as Roobs, first heard about Swami’s initiative in August 2021 when he and a friend attended a community group meeting in Murwillumbah. “As soon as talked about his idea I was hooked. Because I grew up on the Southern Gold Coast and Northern NSW and I am passionate about this region. I wanted to include the southern Gold Coast in the Northern Rivers Free State but the monk said no, because they would have to deal with the Queensland government.

“I even drew up a map which included, selfishly, where I live too! But for now those plans are on the back burner, but I will revisit it again when the time is right,” he joked, adding that the focus right now was on the Northern Rivers.

Roobs said the movement could be summed up in the following passage: “Since the beginning of Australian Federation, establishment of additional states within the Commonwealth has been possible and desirable.” “Now is the time for the people of the Northern Rivers to unite for their freedom and protect their unique values and lifestyle.”

He said the new state would be established “from the Tweed to the mighty Clarence River, for Freedom and Integrity, separate from the corporate slavery we all currently endure.”

“The Northern Rivers Free State is the way it should be, where everyone is equal regardless of colour. creed and religion. Where you do to others as you would have done to yourself, where individuals take responsibility for their own actions and do not blame others for their own unfounded fears, and where the only one that controls you, is you. It’s time for NREXIT.”

Roobs is publisher of a magazine called Roobs Flyer, which is in its 13th Edition. Roobs’ print shop has printed and distributed more than a million flyers, banners and brochures all over the country and can be contacted through his web-based business or emailed at