Domestic Travel

Thu, 3 Jan, 2019Basmah Qazi

The radical plan to merge South Australia and the Northern Territory

The radical plan to merge South Australia and the Northern Territory

While it may sound like a crazy concept, the idea of merging South Australia with the Northern Territory has been raised in parliament and it’s a notion that has been slowly gaining traction.

Creating a new state named Centralia, former Territory and federal MPs have backed the concept including former deputy prime minister and Nationals leader Tim Fischer.

The concept comes after former Northern Territory Attorney-General John Elferink wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of NT News, where he introduced the idea of forming the two states “with resources to rival WA” that would “put Australia firmly in Asia”.

He received mixed responses as many were either for the idea or completely against it.

“The opportunities for a new state that represents a third of the continent’s land mass with direct access to Asia are very real and merit serious consideration, particularly in the Asian century,” wrote Mr Elferink.

But despite his best efforts, the notion is unlikely to proceed given the Territory’s economic crisis.

And while those in South Australia are not attracted to the idea, Australian Conservatives Senate candidate Rikki Lambert has said the idea is interesting and not one without merit.

According to Lambert, South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall should consider the proposal on his own terms.

He says that currently, the conditions are not in South Australia’s favour.

“You have a jurisdiction that is effectively broke wanting to join a South Australian jurisdiction that is only just coming off of the dependence on state spending that we saw under Labor,” he said.

Mr Fisher believes the merger would benefit Australia’s trade with Asia and will present further opportunities to capitalise on.

He’s even thought of a name for the proposed state: “I think a name like Coonawarra, an indigenous name which relates to honey, would be … appropriate for the combined state … it has a ring about it,” he told ABC Darwin.

Do you think South Australia should merge with the Northern Territory? Let us know in the comments below.