Monday, November 23, 2020
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Queensland election 2020: Ask a reporter

Queensland election 2020: Ask a reporter
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But it is possible that other constitutional provisions would apply. Any action in splitting off part of a state to become a new state will affect borders. Section 123 of the Constitution says that the Commonwealth Parliament may alter the borders of a state, with the consent of the state’s Parliament and the “approval of the electors of the state voting upon the question”.

Doubts have been expressed about whether section 123 would apply to the creation of a new state under sections 121 and 124 – but even if it is not technically required, those doubts would drive public agitation for the holding of a vote.

One of the major problems is that, since federation, a new state has never been created. This means that we have no court precedents to rely upon and we don’t really know exactly how sections 121, 123 and 124 work together.

The Constitution guarantees the “original states” (being those that joined at the time of federation) equal Senate representation and a minimum of five seats in the House of Representatives, regardless of their population.

If a state were to be divided in half or cut into thirds, there could be a dispute as to which of the resulting states was the “original” state, with guaranteed rights, or whether all parts would lose those rights. For example, if Queensland was carved up into three states, could it really be claimed that one of those three parts was the “original state”?



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