NEW STATE FORUM: Bill Bates has organised forums to discuss separating Central Queensland in to a new state.
NEW STATE FORUM: Bill Bates has organised forums to discuss separating Central Queensland in to a new state. Mike Richards GLA251017BILL

Bid to grow support in Gladstone for a separate state

A MOVEMENT with the aim to separate North and Central Queensland in to a new state will roll in to the Gladstone region next month.

The Boot Brisbane Referendum Campaign will hold a discussion forum in the region on August 27.

In addition, the group is calling for a referendum on the proposition of forming a new state.

Movement coordinator Bill Bates said the catalyst of the movement was the creation of four new electorates in south-east Queensland.

"Of the now 93 electorates, over 70 are less than 250km from the Brisbane CBD," Mr Bates said.

"Representation of Central and North Queensland has been diminished and it is reasonable to expect that future electoral reviews will result in the similar outcomes."

He also said as a result, 75% of MPs must 'meet the expectations' of their constituents based in in the south-east.

"If that means throwing the residents of Central and North Queensland regional voters 'under the bus', they will do it."

Mr Bates visited the Gladstone region back in 2017, when he was promoting his petition regarding the same issue.

He said support for statehood had strengthened since his last efforts then.

"I think it has (become stronger) because (the question) has been in the media a lot more."

In addition, over 100 people turned out for the last forum held in Mackay in May.

Support in Gladstone is low, with only 8 people registered with his campaign.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the argument of everything going to the south-east is 'ridiculous'.

"The cost of putting a new parliament in North Queensland is very expensive," Mr Butcher said.

"I wouldn't be confident the royalties they would get (would be enough) to run a government."

Mr Butcher also said 60% of infrastructure spending in last year's budget went to regional Queensland.

A venue for the forum will be decided closer to the date.