The westernmost part of Queensland from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the South Australian border could be about to return to the Northern Territory under plans seen by the North West Star.
Under the plan Queensland’s western boundary would line up with SA’s eastern boundary with NSW and Victoria and the strip of land containing Burketown, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Boulia, Bedourie and Birdsville would go into NT.
This would bring Queensland back to its original border with the western part not added until 1862.
This vast area is covered is between the 138th and 141st meridian of east longitude and is known as Queensland’s Western Afterthought because it was not in the original boundary of the colony when it split from New South Wales in 1859.
Author of the plan Professor Hugh Jerar of the Grating Institute said the move would solve a constitutional problem that dates back to the original charter of Queensland in 1859.
“Because the western afterthought was not part of that charter it is not officially recognised in the constitution as actually being part of Queensland and a vote would have to be taken to bring them in,” Prof Jerar said.
“Given how difficult it is to get any constitutional change in Australia, the powers that be believe it would be simply easier to hand the area back to the Northern Territory.”
Prof Jerar said the plan had the high level support of the Queensland and NT governments and would make the east coast map have cleaner dividing lines as well as having other benefits.
“Many people in North West Queensland have said they should be on Central time and this would be one way of achieving that,” Prof Jerar said.
“It also means the management of the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa pipeline would be done on one jurisdiction.”
One of the other benefits is that it would end arguments about whether the name of the town should be Mount Isa or Mt Isa as it would become NT Isa.
The plan is available until the end of April 1 and can be seen here.
Editor’s note: Sorry/Not Sorry
And no, this article was not written by the cricketer. He is “Allan Border”.