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New State Agitation

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Thursday 11 March 1920, The Sydney Morning Herald



TAMWORTH, Wednesday.

Dr. Earle Page, M.P. for Cowper, addressed
a meeting at the Theatre Royal, Tamworth,
on the subject of the new State. Dr.
Page stated that for 60 years the North
Coast had been agitating for better communi-
cation with the tableland. Millions of pounds
could have been saved to the State if lines of
communication between the northern districts
had been constructed. Starving stock could
have been relieved, and one district could have
helped the other in time of trouble. Now that
the motor car made communication easy the
people of the tableland and the coast had
become better acquainted. They now realised
their interests were identical. Associations
had been formed for mutual benefit, and they
were solidly behind the new State movement.
Hitherto all their efforts for betterment had
been of no avail, because they had not been
able to speak with the power of the whole
population behind them. The Sydney poli-
tician had ignored them. Tamworth, and in-
deed all the northern country towns for the
last 20 years, had made no progress. Parents
had been compelled to leave the country for
their children's sake, and opportunities for
their future had been nil. They had made for
Sydney, and the country had been poorer in
consequence. Vested interests in Sydney had
always been opposed to country de-  
velopment, and always would be un-
til the new State became an accom-
plished fact. Out of 90 seats, 48 were
occupied by city candidates and 42 by country
members, and country members were in rival
camps, so that they were powerless when
anything worth while for the country was
under discussion. The result of this position
was that the city got an unfair proportion of
money spent on its requirements. Five-sixths
of borrowed capital other than that spent on
railway construction had been spent in Syd-
ney on purely Sydney projects, including State
bakeries and such like. The result of all this
was that Sydney grew big and the country
languished. In the County of Cumberland
1,000,000 people resided. Of the immigrants
that arrived here before the war, 85 out of
every 100 stayed in Sydney. Twelve out of  
fifteen who went to the country got work on
the railways as navvies. Ten shillings per
week in taxation was required from every
family of four to pay war interest alone.
Where was it coming from? No Australian
Government was exercising economy. Our
only hope was that this new State movement
would help to develop our resources and thus
produce money to pay the bill.

Written by macalba

March 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

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