THE Rexit Roadshow has come to Mildura.
Liberal Democrats MP Tim Quilty has spent recent weeks promoting his plan for parts of regional Victoria and NSW become a new Australian state.
His Mildura meeting was the fourth day of last week’s regional Victorian tour discussing issues affecting communities such as water legislation and land access problems.
But Thursday evening was all about a regional exit, or Rexit, which Mr Quilty has grown increasingly committed on since election two years ago as a member for Northern Victoria Region.
“I had initially suggested a Rexit, a breakaway state comprising regional Victoria and regional NSW, because I had grown tired of seeing how communities here always get mistreated by governments which are focused on winning votes in either Sydney or Melbourne,” Mr Quilty said.
“But my time in Parliament in Melbourne has made me realise that Rexit isn’t just a good idea, it is something which has to happen.
“I have seen week in, week out how constituents in the Northern Victoria electorate have been overlooked and treated appallingly, and this abuse is not confined to Victorians.
“Being a border MP, I have been exposed to the exact same stories of government neglect and disdain from NSW residents.”
This was Mr Quilty’s second Rexit meeting and he said Mildura residents firmly seized the opportunity to hear what the Wodonga-based MP had to say. “The crowd were curious as to what Rexit consisted of, how it would work and, tellingly, how quickly it could take place,” Mr Quilty said.
“I knew that regional Victorians were increasingly disenchanted and angry with their state government; the enthusiasm and hope I saw in Mildura has demonstrated this is more than just a dream. I am finding that critics of my plan tend to be based in the very areas we want to separate from: the big cities. The problems of the regions may as well be on a different planet, as far as metropolitan residents are concerned.
“But the people who are being short-changed, the people who I am working so hard to fight for in Parliament, these are the supporters who see real benefit to self-determination.
“Visiting Mildura was an absolute pleasure and the people who came to see me have given me even more reasons to continue pushing for a new regional state.”
While Mr Quilty’s rexit plan is for regional Victoria and NSW, Mildura has been identified as the centre of a tri-state economic zone that includes Sunraysia and South Australia’s Riverland.
A spokesman for Mr Quilty said: “None of South Australia has been included in the current data models but there absolutely is plenty of room for adjusting what the geographic area would be.
“This could include the South Australian Riverland.”