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North Western Australia Index

    This is the revival of an old proposal that the State of Western Australia should be divided into north and south divisions by a continuation of the 26th Parallel (which divides South Australia from the Northern Territory.
        The initial aim was to give the northern half of the state a new impetus for development. It is fairly obvious that WA is far too large for the Kimberleys area to be managed from Perth, and it is even further from Canberra. This subdivision would most likely lead to a rapid development of Broome as the new capital.

  • Australian International Zone
    A proposal that Australia should excise a small section of vacant land in the North-west/Kimberley region and establish an International Zone. This would be offered to the South and South-East Asian nations as a permanent neutral base for United Nations/WHO activities, along the lines of the European-centred Geneva in Switzerland.
        This zone would specifically exclude defense organisations, and focus on regional dispute settlement/mediation, education, health and building research for tropical climates. And provide a staging-post for Australia's trade and exchanges with Asia during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

    • These are some Explanatory Notes about the foreign affairs value of the International Zone.

    • Matt Wade, who writes for WA Today, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald had an relevant opinion article (Aug 8 2020) "Guns v giving: the trend that says everything about our priorities." His point is that the disparity of Australia spending on arms rather than foreign assistance, has reached 10:1, which is the biggest gap on record.
      "Economic turmoil triggered by the pandemic threatens to erode decades of progress in Australia's immediate region. The number of people living in extreme poverty on Australia's doorstep is set to skyrocket. [But] We barely notice the calamity unfolding on our doorstep.
          ANU development economist, Christopher Hoy, estimates that a 10 per cent decline in income per person in Indonesia will increase the rate of extreme poverty by 50 per cent. And that scenario may prove to be conservative considering the scale of the [Covid-16] economic shock.

      "But it's going to be impossible for us to play that role as a global citizen if we give a very low priority to aid." The government says it will spend $575 billion on the military over the coming decade and the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic may be used to justify further increases. But the pandemic has also dramatically strengthened the case for effective foreign aid, especially as strategic competition grows in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

      It makes little sense for Australia's defence and foreign aid spending to have diverged so far. The next change of government will likely double foreign aid spending just to restore some normal balance. Australia is a compassionate nation; not a belligerent bully.

    • Also a related article "Do we want our freedom bought this way".