Talk:New England (New South Wales)

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Movements for separate statehood[edit]

Hey all. I am fascinated but sadly uninformed about the momentum and popular support of the movements that lobby for changes in the political geography within Australia (devolution as distinct from the Republican movement or the Flag Debate). I'm chiefly referring to the statehood movements in North Queensland, Northern Territory and in various parts of New South Wales and Western Australia. On one internet site, I have seen a map showing radically redrawn borders, supposedly based on Christaller's theory of functional regions and/or on regions of local identity, including ethnic identity. Are these debates politically prominent or more marginal? //Big Adamsky 16:07, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

There was a serious push for devolution in New England in the '70's(?), but the definition of New England was expanded to include areas not willing to leave New South Wales (like Newcastle, so it failed to recieve sufficent support. There is a bit about this subject at Proposals for new Australian States. Blarneytherinosaur 08:28, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


Blarneytherinosaur is definitely correct. I recall there was actually a vote (referendum?) in the 70's but only in area defined by government for new state of New England. The boundary went from Newcastle northwest. I recall there was a lot of press coverage with detailed maps of the proposed area. It failed as the government intended, because of the enlarged area and particlarly the proposed capital of Newcastle. The vote passed in the traditional area but not outside. I recall even Newcastle voted heavily against. Had it passed I understand it was then proposed to hold a state wide referendum. If that passed a majority of states would then have to agree in referendum. I am probably wrong on some details as I have done no research and relying on an old memory. The New England article and the Proposals for new Australian States make no reference to any 70's vote or referendum. Tiddy 04:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I only know what I do because I heard a program about it on the ABC quite some time ago, but a referrendum can't have dissapeared without any reliable sources. We should be able to dig up enough to put a couple of sentences in. Blarneytherinosaur talk 05:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
They were serious about it in the 1930's. The 1970's campaign was a JOKE. It was called "Great Eastland" and was promoted by the short-lived Workers Party started by John Singleton, which was a right-wing no-tax party and not what is normally considered to be a workers' party.Eregli bob (talk) 06:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Ref Blarneytherinosaur's comments on my previous input. New England New State Movement article refers to the 1967 self-government plebiscite of New England electors based on the boundaries recommended by the Nicholas Commission. It gives plenty of references. Plebiscite is differentiated from referrenda (only in Australia) as it does not propose change to Australian Constitution. Had the plebiscite passed then there would have had to be a referendum. Tiddy (talk) 03:02, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


A map would be useful for those of us poor confuddled folks with the sad lot in life not to have been born in Aussieland. --Quintucket 05:10, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


Anyone got any population estimates? --MacRusgail 20:20, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Historical Notes[edit]

The two blogs menioned as sources are mine. I have not attempted at this point to edit the main pages. However, the following information may be of interest.

Name: New England was initially called Northern NSW, the North, the Northern Districts or the Northern Provinces. The name New England was originally the name of the Tableland area forming New England's core. The Tablelands are known as the Northern Tablelands, the New New England Tablelands or sometimes just the New England to distnguish them from the broader New england area. The name New England was adopted for the whole area by the Nothhern Separation Movement at its 1931 Maitland convention.

Area: Because New England has never had a formal identity, its boundaries have varied with time. In broad terms, it covers the humid coastal strip from the Hunter Valley to the Queensland border, the New England Tablelands and the immediately adjoining Western slopes and Plains.

In economic and geographic terms, New England forms a natural unit that has survived to the present day. The modern TV aggregation boundaries, as an example, reflect the New England core.

In political terms,the boundaries have varied. The initial separation discussions excluded the Hunter, in part because of tensions between the indutrial and mining heartland of the lower Hunter and the rest of the area. The problem with this is that Newcastle and the Hunter are a logical part of New England. The boundaries recommended by the 1935 report of the Nicholas Royal Commission into areas of NSW suitable for self-government included Newcastle and the Hunter. These boundaries were adopted by the New England New State Movement and used as the basis for the 1967 self-government referendum.

New State Agitation. The first separatist agitation occurred during colonial times at the the time of the separation of Queensland from NSW. While this was followed by sporadic periods of agitation,these remained sporadic.

This changed in the twentieth century. Agitation began again at Grafton ltowards the end of the First World War led by Earle Page, a local doctor and later a prominent Australian politician. This was picked up a little later by Victor Thompson, editor of the Tamworth Northern Daily Leader who launched a sustained newspaper campaign that involved papers as far south as Cessnock in the lower Hunter. This led to the creation of a formal movement. One outcome was the 1924 Cohen Royal Commission into New States.

The Cohen Commission ruled against to the movement and it went into decline, resurging at the start of the depression. This forced another Royal Commission, the Nicholas Commission. While this recommended in favour, the movement was again in decline as economic conditions improved.

Agitation started again at the end of the Second World War and this time was sustained by permanent staff. In 1961 the movement launched Operation Seventh State, raising over 100,000 pounds. This allowed more staff and greater agitation, culminating in the 1967 referendum.

The no vote was led by the Labor Party who campaigned hard. The very high no vote in the Labor strongholds of Newcastle and the Lower Hunter offset the majority yes vote elsewhere, although the no margin was not high. Exhausted, the movement collapsed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jim Belshaw (talkcontribs) 11:15, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


These are blogs and not suitable for citing directly, but they link to some useful sources:


Never in all my born days have I heard anyone say that the North Coast/Northern Rivers was part of New England. Nor the Western Slopes neither. New England is the Tableland only so far as I know.PiCo (talk) 12:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The Northern Rivers is not part of the NE and never has been to my knowledge. Some of the slopes towns are periodically included in some sources. I will attempt to sort out some of this uncited work. Cgoodwin (talk) 07:02, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

The northern rivers (and the Hunter) was included in the 1967 New state referendum. -- Mattinbgn\talk 08:45, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

It is true that the Northern Rivers is not part of the New England. If you look at the earlier discussion, you will see that New England is used in two ways - the New England to refer to the Tablelands, but also New England to refer to the area seeking self government. Interestingly, two of the early (1930s) Lismore based transport companies carried the New England name - New England Motor Company and New England Airways.--Jim Belshaw (talk) 09:03, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Definition of New England[edit]

I wasn't happy with the edits on the definition of New England. The broadest new state definition includes the Hunter. These boundaries were recommended by the Nicholas Commission, adopted by the New State Movement and used up to the 1967 vote. Will edit at some point. Jim Belshaw (talk) 02:37, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Use of blogs[edit]

I am presently writing a history of the broader new state New England. As part of this, I am publishing material on my blog -

To what degree under wikipedia rules is it allowable to use blog posts as references where those posts are themselves fully referencedJim Belshaw (talk) 02:42, 7 July 2010 (UTC)?

WP:SPS may provide some guidance or you may wish to raise the topic at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. -- Mattinbgn\talk 03:20, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the guidance here. As I interpret the rules, the fact that the stuff is self-published by me even if fully referenced rules it out if I then want to quote it. The rule can't be an absolute absolute one, however. If so, Michael O'Rourke's self-published works on the Kamilaroi Aboriginal peoples could not be used, and they are basic works already quoted. Recognising that it's arbitrary and focusing on intent, my feeling is that for me to quote my own self-published blog work would be open to special challenge.Jim Belshaw (talk) 03:27, 9 July 2010 (UTC)