Poll: Senator wants to know - do we need more states?
SENATOR Matthew Canavan wasn't afraid to kick off debate on his first day on the job.
After taking part in his first official plaque unveiling, at the merger of CQ TAFE and CQUniversity, Mr Canavan spoke to The Morning Bulletin about his call for more states in Australia.
"We had 3.8million people at federation," Mr Canavan said.
"Today, we've got six times that and we've got the same number of states."
Mr Canavan, whose headquarters will be in Rockhampton, said Central Queensland and north Queensland deserved increased representation at federal and state level.
Do you think Australia needs more states?
This poll ended on 18 July 2014.
Only in Queensland and Western Australia
Only in Queensland
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
He said over time both sides of politics had ignored the issues facing the Rockhampton region.
"There's a substantial number of people living in this part of the world, but their lives are dictated by Brisbane or Canberra," he said.
"I don't think that's right."
Mr Canavan said there had been moves to create new states, citing the New England New State Movement.
He said it was time to start another debate and talk about big ideas for the nation's future.
"A lot of people you talk to say 'let's get rid of the states' and while I have some sympathy for that view that we're over-governed, practically we can't do that because (the states are) an inherent part of our Constitution," Mr Canavan said.
"We can create new states without changing the Constitution.
"We just need to get the people in the area affected on board, so we need to have a discussion about what (they) want."
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Mr Canavan hopes to see the region grow throughout his term in the Senate.
"There's no reason why Rockhampton shouldn't be more than 100,000 people," he said.
Mr Canavan said good infrastructure, schools and hospitals were key.