MEDIA RELEASE

17 July 2020

 

Tim Quilty says now is the time to have a conversation about Rexit: a Regional Exit

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has called for regional Victoria to be separated from Melbourne.

With 428 new cases of COVID-19 being announced today and with border closures still splitting communities and causing traffic delays, Mr Quilty says now is the time to start having a conversation about secession.

“It’s always been clear that the cities and the regions are entirely distinct, with their own characteristics and their own needs,” Mr Quilty said.

“This coronavirus crisis has underlined just how different the two are, and that each deserves its own government and leadership structure.

“We don’t need to be governed by leaders whose sole aim is to win voters in the cities.

“The current measures we are seeing are focused entirely on Melbourne or Sydney, and as a result the regions have suffered massive damage, both socially and economically.

“I am pleased rural areas have avoided a renewed lockdown so far, but it’s by no means certain to remain that way.”

Mr Quilty said that while the idea of ‘Rexit’ started as just a way to illustrate how regional Victoria is suffering under city-centric government policies, it’s become increasingly clear it is a compelling idea.

“I stated in my maiden speech that there needs to be a ‘Rexit’, a regional exit.” Mr Quilty said. “And that has only become clearer since.

“The more I have seen as the Member for Northern Victoria, the more I am convinced that we need to separate metropolitan areas from regional areas.”

Mr Quilty believes regional Victoria and regional NSW share more in common with each other than their state capitals, and that should help shape the new borders.

“Political decisions are made in Melbourne and in Sydney, in the interests of city voters,” Mr Quilty said.

“City based politicians have perfect incentives to screw the regions to win votes – and this is exactly what we see over and over again. And the more the regions dwindle in comparison, the less relevant their voice - and their vote – becomes. Seventy-five percent of voters now live in Greater Melbourne, but there are more people in regional Victoria than were in all of Victoria at federation.

“The border closures have highlighted the similarities between communities on either side of the Murray – we are at heart the same.

“My vision is that we would unify Northern Victoria with Southern NSW and create a new state of Murray where the needs of the region are front and centre.

‘But there is a bigger picture. The issues we are facing in Northern Victoria are the same ones that people in New England, Far North Queensland and regional WA face.

“Leave Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to their own devices.

“The time is ripe for a second Federation, a birth of new states freeing those who have been left behind from the tyranny of the city.

“The big city governments can do what they need to do for city residents, whereas the new regional state governments can focus on making informed decisions backed by real-life experience and – perhaps most important of all – a love of country living.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819