Forget Merging SA And The NT. This Is The New State Australia Needs.
The Proposed SA/NT Merger Doesn't Go Far Enough
This makes sense. In fact it makes so much sense, no politician would ever act on it. But they should.
In the context of the renewed push to merge South Australia and the Northern Territory, 10 daily has a bigger, bolder idea.
Merge the two of them and throw in Western Australia too.
Like us, we're confident you know this makes sense. Why does it make sense? Four main reasons:
In the CommSec State of the States economic performance report published a year ago this month, the NT, SA and WA were ranked 6th, 7th and 8th respectively.
SA has since bounced between 5th and 6th, but these states/territories are effectively our three economic basket cases.
Chuck 'em all in, we say. Let 'em pool their meagre resources, cut down on admin costs and see if they can capitalise on a few efficiencies, or build the world's biggest solar plant, or both of the above.
The second reason to chuck WA, SA and NT in together is cultural.
These are the only places in the country that have different time zones to the east, and not just because they're all stuck in about 1977.
WA is two hours behind the east in winter (three hours in summer), the NT is one-and-a-half hours behind in summer (half an hour in winter), while SA lags by half an hour.
They also all disparagingly refer to the rest of Australia (QLD, NSW, VIC, ACT, TAS) as "the eastern states". Their very identity has been forged on being not from the east.
Fine. Chuck 'em all in together as a defiantly non-east entity.
Speaking of which...
A quick refresher in basic high school geography.
Firstly, South Australia is not the southernmost state in Australia. In fact it's the third-most-southern state after Tasmania and Victoria.
Nor is the Northern Territory Australia's most northern state or territory. Queensland beats it by about a degree of latitude.
Western Australia? Yes, it's actually Australia's westernmost state. So as a reward for geographical accuracy, the new state gets the initials WA at the start of its name.
So what to call it...?
4. The name
In discussions around the merger of SA and the NT today, there's talk of new names like "Centralia" or Coonwawarra".
We don't much care for either of those. It's clear that Central Australians in the Alice Springs region are not happy about the former. We also reckon that SA winemakers in the town and wine region of Coonawarra would likely want no part of the latter.
We've got a better idea.
WASANT. An acronym combining "WA", "SA" and "NT".
As a bonus, it sounds like the word "wasn't".
As in, each state/territory wasn't any good on its own, but stands a much better chance of success now.
So there you have it. Problem solved.
Now if we could only establish whether New South Wales was so-named as the new version of southern Wales or the new southern version of Wales, we'd have all our state issued sorted.