A few days ago, I came across a suggestion that there would be benefit to a certain area of regional NSW being its own state. As I am wont to do on occasion, I explored the larger question of how Australia would be divided up into states if we thought about it today rather than simply accepting lines somewhat arbitrarily drawn on a page more than 150 years ago.
This is where I ended up after some thought and fiddling.
6 city states. 10 regional states. I’ve utilised the recent work done by the Australia Bureau of Statistics developing the ASGS in doing so. This is what has led to the jagged edges on the map, as I utilised their existing boundaries.
A couple of thoughts that guided my choices in breaking the country up:
– limit the influence of established principal cities. A couple of drivers here: principal cities tend to concentrate services and government, leading to less development elsewhere in the state; principal cities tend to have overwhelming majorities in state governments leading to regular incidents where the wishes and standards of regional areas are overridden to sate the whims and ways of others who bear none of the consequences.
– group together areas that already have something in common. The most glaring example of this is Outback Australia – a single, near continent spanning state that brings together the hardest, sparsest regions of the country.
Anyway, interested in thoughts on what people would do differently, what consequences and changes you think this would bring about over time, etc.