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"Rexit" Plan Progress

"Rexit" Plan Progress

Liberal Democrats member submits proposal for new state

Tim Quilty, the Liberal Democrats member for Northern Victoria, is continuing his campaign for the plan he has dubbed "Rexit".

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The plan is for a new regional super-state, which would concern itself with issues unique to the regions, rather than what he sees as too much focus on the big cities.

"It's to give the people in regional areas a voice and separate them from the cities," Mr Quilty says.

"Cities are acting like a giant black hole. They suck resources, they suck the money, they suck the people in. Young people have to leave to get jobs and it's leaving regional communities devastated."

Mr Quilty first flagged the idea in his maiden speech to parliament in 2018, but he has now submitted a proposal for independent advice to the Parliamentary Budget Office. He says COVID-19 and the border closures has brought the issue back into focus.

"We've seen what happened when they closed the border. Across the river, our communities are intertwined; they're much more connected to each other than they are to cities that are three or four hours away," he says. "I think the lockdown made it very clear to us where our interests really lie."

The initial plan covers northern Victorian and southern NSW, but Mr Quilty says it could range all the way up to the Queensland border, north-west New South Wales, and run down to the western coast of Victoria. He says that various models would have from 1.3 million to 2 million people in the state.

Mr Quilty will be touring Swan Hill and Mildura in coming weeks to meet locals and talk about his idea, and plans to tour the rest of the included areas early in 2021.

"What I am proposing will be hugely challenging to some passionate Victorians, but I believe we can put forward a strong enough case to change people’s minds,” Mr Quilty says.

“All great changes have started off as just an idea being explored by small groups. I believe there is enough evidence to convince people that regional communities will be better off breaking away and governing themselves.”

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