Western Australian secession hits the agenda

From The Australian this morning:

WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett has warned his state will “fully integrate” with Asia if the federal government doesn’t ensure WA gets its fair share of the GST pie.

Speaking on Sky News’s Australian Agenda program yesterday, Mr Barnett said his state was becoming “much more independent financially” and the strength of Western Australia’s economy was concealing the “true weakness” of the national finances.

“If we went to a scenario, which is possible, where WA only got 25c in the dollar, or maybe no GST return at all, at that stage commonwealth-state relations between Canberra and Western Australia would be negligible,” Mr Barnett said.

…”Unless Canberra gets up to pace with the West Australian economy, the West Australian economy and community will simply move away from the rest of Australia and closer and closer to Asia in every respect, whether it is business, sport, health, education, environmental management, research, whatever else,” he said.

“That’s not a threat, that’s a reality, and I don’t think that is understood on the east coast,” he added.

You may recall I advised the Western Australian government to invade some months ago:

This situation is untenable for Western Australians. Their wealth is being siphoned off by the great eastern parasites who are living high on the hog at Western Australian’s expense. The West has been enslaved by the East for too long. It’s time for the wheel of karma to swing about.

Col. Barnett of the ruling Western Liberal Front must seize this historic moment. The East is weak. For decades it has descended into decadence as it used other people’s money to trade houses as if they were commodities. But they weren’t. They aren’t. The Chinese don’t buy houses by the megacarrier load. They buy dirt. Western Australian dirt.

Now, successive years of austerity in the mold of the European periphery has pushed a corrupt regime into historic decline. The peoples of the East are depressed, their houses falling in value, their hopes of a second and third investment property and retirement by 28 shattered.

They are ripe for the picking.

I know Western Australia has no standing army while the East does. But think about it. A declaration of secession would instantly bankrupt the Eastern parasites. Their own army would be impoverished and starving within a week. A small and well drilled army of mercenaries contracted from Sandline  would be sufficient to demoralise the Eastern forces. A swift offer of improved pay conditions and free pies would see them flood across the border, leaving the East defenseless. Col. Barnett will ride a mining behemoth into the heart of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra unopposed, to the cheers of local degenerates desperate for the liberation of employment.

Even as we claim our Eastern prize, the tactical seizure of Pine Gap would be sufficient to keep the US sympathetic to the Western Australian invasion and a quick declaration of loyalty to WANZUS would prompt the State Department to force recognition of Western Australian sovereignty through the Security Council.

Think on the benefits a moment. Canberran residents would be forcibly relocated to the Pilbara to become slave labour in the mines. The old city of this mock capital would be razed and the earth of its high plateau salted so as to become uninhabitable for a thousand years. The leech of mining taxes would be squashed permanently and rivers of gold will flow uninterrupted to Western Australians on both counts!

And it need not stop there. Our boundless riches can then finance Western Australia’s push into the Western Pacific. For too long have the sheep herders of the Kiwi Isle stood against us. There, peasantry knows no bounds, tilling the earth when it is there, virgin and prostrate, to be dug. Beyond that lies the Great Western Australian Empire!

The East is soft. It’s moment has passed. In its place must rise a new Australia, a Western Australia, a paragon of mining manhood, rippling with bronzed, pick-wielding vitality. A teutonic mining state upon which all will look and despair!

I renew that call today.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Like Scotland and Quebec, WA wants to run away with the good bits and take none of the downside of being an actual country.

    Succeed, I dare ya.

    Then, I propose the the Eastern states invade Perth and the NW shelf, leave all the useless tax-holes for someone else, disappropriate every citizen of the newly minted Country of Westralia of their property rights and start selling them off again at enormous profit.

    And thats after we freeze AUD demoninated assets in Eastern based banks, close the border to the flow of food and persons etc.

    Australia, population 17 million+a few million refugees who will be free to integrate with Asia as closely as they like.

    Its sabre rattling which can only occur because no one is going to take it seriously. Mining magnates would be the first ones applying for asylum.

    And as someone who lives on the to-be salted plains of the Monaro, I’d rather be here than in the desert when the Chinese bubble collapses.

    • How about WA secedes; no one does any invading, and Australia and WA get on with their own businesses? No downside that I can see.

      • Because it would no longer be in Australias interest to let it. If you want to talk Realpolitik, why would a nation just allow the revolutionary government of a future failed state to run of with its assets. The problem with this theory is that, as I say like the Quebecois and the Scots, successionist West Australians want to be Australians and not-be Australians. Its that choice which punctures the inflated pretence of a few large corporations pretending they are a government.

        • The States are jus part of a Commonwealth, held together by a 100 year old founding document. I could be mistaken, but I would guess that there is a non-binding clause in there somewhere. After all, the document STILL allows New Zealand to join at any time if it wishes!

          • I believe the states are not allowed to legally secede without permission from the federal government.

          • Aristophrenia

            Tell me Janet, why is it that the rest of Australia has supported the basket case of WA and Queensland, SA and Tassie (read victoria and nsw) for almost a century as you floundered around costing us billions in support, and then as soon as your earnign a buck you want to leave ?

            Sound very much like the children you’ve always been – and quite frankly the first thing that would happen to WA is they would be invaded by a coalition of Australia (of which you would no longer be part of) and China our new allies, or America our old allies, in order to fend off invasion from Indonesia.

          • Aristo, Barnett did not call for secession. His interview on Australian Agenda was actually pretty good. HnH is having a bit of fun – you’re getting wound up over nothing. Chill.

          • You can’t leave without a national referendum. WA tried it in the 30’s.

            And no, I don’t give WA the right to strip me of assets that I’m entitled to as much as every other Australian.

          • Oh yeah, and you know you’re in a mining boom when this sort of chat starts coming from WA. Let’s see how loud it is when the boom ends.

  2. Not all West Aussies are that stupid…I’m one who understands the concept of capital flows around a country…and can remember the history of those flows since Federation. But in the most isolated city on the planet the parochialism is palpable, and there is no doubt if we have any problems at all then it must be the fault of eastern staters..
    But West Aussies should be careful what they wish for.
    When the boom here ends (when, not if) then the flow of people into the state to service the boom will reverse, and quickly. Without the resources boom there is not a lot of other opportunities here…there are already many problems with sustaining the meagre output of agriculture in a drying climate (which of course is the fault of eastern staters. Manufacturing? not competitive in this part of the world. As the many working in the resources sector leave to find new opportunities elsewhere then average wages will fall (a lot, the loss of capital flowing into the city will hurt everyone, all the service industries will contract, house prices will fall steeply, and the city will revert back to a sleepy backwater. It has happened before you know….the only difference this time is the crunch will be much bigger.

    • But having learned from the Euro debacle, WA would devalue the Moolah ( being a currency composed of 100 Zacs) and reinstate it’s competitiveness, thereby encouraging the flow of people and investment money back into the State to do lower cost whateveritis.

    • +1 – the idea of secession is obviously a ludicrous one, especially if underpinned by the notion that the demand for WA’s resources will continue to boom forever.

      Russel, WA is the only part of the country I’ve never visited, but it sounds a little like the way Queensland was when I was just knee-high, in the way that Queenslanders felt isolated from and mocked by the rest of the country (we were referred to as “the deep north”, an allusion to a far-flung province populated by hillbillies and rednecks). Joe Bjelke-Petersen exploited this situation masterfully, keeping the premiers chair for 20 years through the power of polarization.

      It sounds like sandgropers think a similar way to how people here did years ago (before large numbers of retirees from the southern states decided that Queensland was a great place to settle down and enjoy their twilight years) – an “us and them” outlook.

      Secession isn’t going to happen – but politicians waxing lyrical about it sounds like a political winner.

      • dumb_non_economist

        Lef-tee, we have never really been able to shake that attitude to the east even with the amount of interstate migration that has taken place over the last 30+ yrs. Should be mandatory to leave here when you turn, say, 20 and have to stay away at least 5 yrs!

        It’s this attitude why I hate the wc eagles and the sports media over here in general.

      • DrBob127MEMBER

        And that is largely why after travelling around Europe for ~5 years, I felt that it was too difficult to resettle in Perth and opted for Melbourne.

        • I returned here after 26 years absence…not much has really changed in that time. Family brought me back and now keeps me here.

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    What irks me is that WA has been subsidised for most of their existance and now that they’ve got $ signs in their eyes they want to run off with all the loot. Not without a devastating war to prove their worth I say! Seriously – they want out, fight for it!

    • SweeperMEMBER

      That annoys me aswell. On balance WA has been a clear winner from Federation. They should be grateful.

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      Is this actually correct? I would have thought that WA would of been a massive net exporter for most of its existence? Whether it would be wool, wheat or iron ore, gold etc.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        WA has been a drain on the Commonwealth for most of its existence.

        If they want to secede, it’s only fair that they first repay the Commonwealth the financial aid received over 60/70 years which ensured that WA education, health, infrastructure etc. was on par with the other states.

      • The first ever idustry in WA was exporting jarah. When I was in California in 2000, they were in the process of digging up the old wooden railway line sleepers and replacing them with concrete.

        These sleepers were WA jarah.

        Then they got gold.

        Then they did put some agriculture on pretty much the worst soil on the planet.

        Hmm, marginal agriculture doesn’t pull the weight that the industrialised east did.

        To answer your question, whilst exporting a lot, WA has tended to import a lot as well.

        Saw a repeat of Jack Brabham on Australian sotry on the weekend.

        The engine that won his F1 championship of 1966, was built by Repco in Melbourne. So the machinery behind the fastest car in the world was Aussie built.

        We used to be good… in the eastern states anyway. WA still had sheep and wheat.

        Make no mistake, WA consensus is Perth, or namely the Swan River settlement.

        The Swan River settlement has always been parasitic to some other entity hundreds, if not thousands of km’s away.

        First the Kalgoorlie gold rush.

        Then the eastern states until the 1960’s

        Then when Lang Hancock put iron ore into the ground via telekinesis, the Swan River settlement leeched off the Pilbara.

        They are juveniles here in Perth… utterly.

        • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

          I always thought that yeah the state govt could be seen as parasitic on the fed govt but the costs would of been more than made up for by fed taxes on exports? It’s not like WA had a huge population to look after.

          Anyway I couldn’t think of anything worse than the Colin, Gina and Twiggy show having greater power than what they already do…

          • “Anyway I couldn’t think of anything worse than the Colin, Gina and Twiggy show having greater power than what they already do…”

            Wow. Stunted imagination.

        • “They are juveniles here in Perth… utterly.”

          A very general sweeping statement and I disagree. I have had the pleasure of working with many intelligent and interesting West Australians. I have become accustomed to the weather (look out your office window, perfect, Swan sparkling, Kings Park beckoning). Endless days of summer, still venturing to the beach most weekends.

          Absolutely surprised at the vehemence expressed here toward the great State of Western Australia and it’s people.

          FWIW, on the topic of secession Barnett clearly stated ‘It is not a serious topic in WA and has not been for decades’ and laughed saying it was only something journo’s in the east seemed to entertain. I think HnH has had his fun for the day. (and preferred his words to those of Barnett’s…)

          • Now talking about sweeping statements, 3D.

            I spent a couple of years working in the city, commuting from Subiaco.

            By the time I left (to return to civilisation), I had a 44-gallon drum full of disembowelled umbrellas.

            Tell me about that WA weather again? 🙂

          • dumb_non_economist

            Brilliant one day, perfect the next. The weather is so bloody brilliant it becomes boring and makes you lazy as you can almost go outside and do stuff anytime.

        • Well played RP, but it’s still the nicest city in Australia by far…It’s just a pity that it produces nothing useful.

          • There is a world-renowned minting operation in Perth, does that count?
            I have to agree that some of the reactionary comments on this thread are as amusing as they are ill-informed. Colin Barnett doesn’t want to secede, and even if he did, he is not the people of WA.
            These sorts of divisions are exactly what he wants to paint himself as the protector of WA’s mineral wealth against the Canberra ‘tax-and-spenders’.
            Nothing to see here, move along!

          • Thanks 5d ibut I’ll take your word for it.

            I’m quite sure the combination of Barnie the Builder and the Daily Terror website would trigger some form of apoplexy.

            My favoured politics will be played out at Subiaco this weekend. Speaking of which, can you get me into your corporate box?!? 😉

  4. I might move to north WA and begin a succession movement of the mineral rich areas from perth itself…??

    “those blasted sandgroper city dwellers down south are stealing all our pilbara wealth, why should they benefit?”

  5. Forget about mining, capital flows, potential invasion and the rest. WA will not secede from Australia because of the very reason that unites and that makes us Australian – sport.

    No longer would an Ashes match be held at the WACA. Hell, the newly formed nation of WA wouldn’t even be ranked as a test playing nation for at least ten years.

    No longer would our major sporting codes be burdened with the red eye flights to make away games against the eagles, dockers, glory, force etc. The AFL can revoke the two licences and install teams in Darwin and Hobart instead. The A-league turns a profit and the force – well no one (except Sth African expats) play rugby there anyway.

    No longer would WA hold us back in major sporting events. WA becomes another piderling country like Gibraltar, St Kitts and England that gets smashed by the mighty Australian juggernaught at the Commonwealth games.

    I’d give it two footy seasons and an cricket-less summer before they’d come crawling back, begging us to take them back…

    • JacksonMEMBER

      This has always been my argument (as a Sandgroper). We’d never win a gold medal at the Olympics, therefore the idea of a split is ludicrous.

    • dumb_non_economist

      Swifty, rubbish. For some time the Australian cricket team was almost a WA team!
      Isn’t it pathetic that the national cohesion comes from sport and booze!

      • Yeah, in the late 80’s when the team used to get smacked by even NZ.

        Then it became mighty once again, once it was stacked with seven NSW’men.

      • Mate – I’ll give you Huss, Hogg and Swampy’s spawn but I reckon you’ll need to get DKL to open the bowling, Langer to open the batting, Rod Marsh to keep and Moody to be the allrounder!

  6. People should look at the history books. This is not the first time WA has done this and won’t be the last. WA has threatened to leave many times. There was even a referendum in 1933 which got 60% of the vote but failed legally to do so. Lang Hancock tried in 1974 to garner support but ultimatly it went no where.

    At the moment WA props up the Eastern States, in the past the Eastern States propped up WA. Either side shouldn’t treat the other with contempt. The ‘rivers of gold’ is already ending and Australia will need all hands on deck.

  7. Would be a great stimulus program just as China goes off the cliff.

    WA tries to secede.
    Canberra bombs the absolute living daylights out of Perth.
    Billions are spent rebuilding Perth.

    Krugman holds the experiment up as a model to be embraced around the world.

    • Alex Heyworth

      Not bad for 10.4% of the population. If only the rest of us could be as productive.

      • How much of Gross National Product does it account for – after the earnings of shareholders in foreign-owned mining comapnies are taken into account?

        Last I read, total mining only accounted for around 3% of GNP but I might have that wrong.

  8. So, uh, does anyone actually know what he meant by “full” integration with Asia? Actions that WA can take without requiring Federal assent?

    • The Retravision Warriors win against Singapore in cricket and the Western Force Rugby victories against Hong Kong should get a few lime green utes doing circle work at 2am on a Sunday.

      Eagles and Dockers can play each other 26 times a year. Boganfest.

  9. And WA can deal with a $1.50WA dollar while the currency can sink in the east restoring our competitiveness.

  10. George Locust

    Presumably if WA seceded one of the first things they would need to do is introduce conscription. Dont see how else they would entice able bodied young men into the military while the mines are an alternative.

    • Why men?

      Now we have women able to serve in the combat roles, women should be conscripted as well.

      • George Locust

        True. Maybe the Sandgropers will become a nation of Amazon Warrior Women leaving their partners to work in the mining pits.
        Zena Warrior Woman meets Kath n Kim.

    • dumb_non_economist

      George, no need. We have the WA SASR right on the beach ready to repel any potential invaders with the rabbit proof fence guarding our rear and NORFORCE protecting our ochre coloured gold!

  11. Imagine how pleasant central and east coast politics would be without the stupid noise about asylum seekers arriving by boat!

  12. The scorn directed at the people of WA is most unwarranted and reflects poorly on those who seem to think that easy derision reflects deep thinking.

    Most of the people who live in WA were not born here, but have been attracted to the West by the sense of freedom, equality and opportunity for which we are rightly well-known. We are essentially newly-settled and our state is therefore a constant work in progress in every sense. It follows more or less automatically that West Australians are generally open-minded, forward-looking and ready to accept newcomers – wherever they come from and whatever aspirations they bring with them.

    In practice, West Australians are quite deeply linked by trade and cultural links with our neighbours to the north and the west, and are not bound to the customary reflexes and self-satisfied conceits of the Sydney-Melbourne-Canberra mob. You can be sure we are thinking of the coming century, not of the one that has just ended, and are finding our own way forward whether you approve or not.

    And if this means that from time to time we speak up in defense of our own interests and let you know how we see the future, well who can blame us for that? Since we seem to be held in such low regard in the first place, what do we possibly have to lose by bringing our perspectives out into the open?

    You can be very sure that West Australians do not feel any need to bow down to the nauseating complacency of our Eastern brothers and sisters.

    • Spent the first 17 years of my life there and two subsequent 3 year bursts. The place (state) is chock full of insecure, inward looking xenophobes and has attracted similar from the East. Isolated, full of bogans, deteriorated markedly (community values) since the 1980s. Best seen from 35,000 feet going somewhere nice.

      • VR,

        Spent a total of several years over there on and off – contract consultant to various resource companies.

        Got to the point where if I had been referred to one more time as “the wise man from the east” I would have decked someone.

        Funny thing was, I was often working alongside previous east-coast colleagues – it was as if they had undergone some kind of lobotomy once they made the move west.

        A strange place, indeed – never really seemed to have a confident handle on its own identity.