‘Deeply concerning’ support to split nation
A plan to essentially divide Australia into two nations is building up a "deeply concerning" level of support in Western Australia, where residents feel "isolated and ignored" from the rest of the nation.
More than one-in-four West Australians say they want the state to break away from the rest of the country for good, according to polling from market research group, Utting Research.
They found that 28 per cent of the 3500 Western Australians they spoke to said they'd like to see WA become its own country - a plan unofficially dubbed "WAxit".
The research comes after the state shut itself off from the rest of the nation in April, and has refused to opens its borders ever since.
The research shows 55 per cent of the state's residents wanted WA to remain in the Federation and 17 per cent didn't know.
Perth Labor MP, Patrick Gorman, said the results were "deeply concerning".
"This poll shows those in the eastern states need to understand the secessionist undertones which have always existed in WA," he told The West Australian.
"The tyranny of distance between Perth and Canberra often leaves West Australians feeling isolated and ignored by our east coast allies, fuelling the discussion."
The polling - taken in five different state electorates - showed about 35 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women wanted WA to secede Australia.
Those most supportive of WAxit were aged between 40 and 59 and were not voters of any of the major political parties.
Norman Moore, a former politician in WA who has often spoken about the idea of WA breaking away from the Federation, said he wasn't shocked by the results.
Although he believes the state would thrive on its own, he said Western Australians felt they were a part of the country more than ever.
"I don't think people see themselves so much as Western Australians anymore, as opposed to being Australians. As the world's got smaller I think a lot of Western Australians now think, 'We're now part of Australia'," he said.
This all comes after the state's Premier Mark McGowan last week stood firm, saying he would not open his state's borders anytime soon.
In a previous National Cabinet meeting about reopening state borders in time for Christmas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Western Australia was the only state not playing ball.
The state has not recorded a single case of coronavirus in the community for 180 days, but it won't open even to other safe states such as the NT and SA.
"There is no benefit," Mr McGowan said on Thursday. "All we'll do is lose jobs were we to open to those (jurisdictions).
"The other states want us to open the border so that West Australian tourists will flood east, not so that people from the east will come here.
"They're only saying all this for very self-interested reasons because we have higher incomes, we have people that are more used to travelling and therefore we'll have more tourists go from Western Australia to the east."
Mr McGowan said the borders would remain closed until the eastern states go 28 days with no community transmissions.
Originally published as 'Deeply concerning' support to split nation