White paper Prepared for Australia 2020 Summit April 20, 2008
SYNOPSIS: Regionalism with a difference. Regions for pragmatic forms of governance. State boundaries were out of date before federation. This has had serious impact on governance. The best time to fix this is when Australia becomes a republic. If you are standing in a hamlet, a town or a city of Australia, you will be on the slopes or in the valley of a major river system. It is that river system that, over the last million years or so, has determined what the landscape you are looking at looks like, and what the land around you is capable of producing, and other matters such as how many people are living there, and what they can and cannot do with their lives, etc. Even in the major desert that is at the centre of Australia, where rain rarely falls, this simple observation is valid. So it is possible to divide Australia on the basis of where water, when it drops from the sky, will flow in its (sometimes quite short, sometimes very long) journey towards the sea. States based on "FOWTOR" are meaningful and the impacts enormous. Every FOWTOR region has a capital because all major towns & cities in Australia were located on a major river. This means that under FOWTOR local government focus changes from the arbitrary town boundary to the complete river flow, which solves many issues. FOWTOR suggests sub-states & super-states which is new. FOWTOR involves new grouping of populations (especially aboriginality) & new state elections (Senate). 2 Senators per FOWTOR region gives us the same number of Senators, but changes the focus of the Senate in governance. An exciting future for Australian governance.
Steve Irons (author)