Riverina New State

Albury Banner and Wodonga Express

6 March 1925

Mr. W. W. Killen, M.P., addressing the New States Commission on behalf of the Riverina separationist movement, said it was over six years since the agitation began in the Riverina district for separation   from N.S.W. At that time the population was not so great as to-day, but it was about equal to Victoria when that State was successful in her efforts. Had the Riverina been successful, the district would now - carry, a population of 800,000. Judge Cohen, chairman, suggested that agitation of that kind was for the purpose of separating   Riverina from N.S.W. and of simultaneously attaching itself to Victoria.

Even to-day, said his Honour, people in the western parts of Riverina are desirious of becoming a part of the southern State. Mr. Killen said the commission, when in Riverina, examined 69 witnesses in favour of the separation movement, 16 against, and 20 who were neutral. He would not say that if granted a new State they would desire the full powers possessed by N.S.W. They were generally satisfied that control of railways, for instance, should remain in the hands of the mother State. He said the 25,000 which the commission would cost, was surely a small thing compared with the principle involved; and the millions spent in the city. He presented press criticism of the commission, describing it unfair and one-sided.

The Government could not successfully manage territories hundred's of miles away from the cities, of which they had no knowledge. Members of the commission had seen the Riverina, and must realise that something must be wrong, or the territory would have progressed as had been the case with Victoria.