Barque "Clarence" Bearer of good tidings

24th May 2009, 04:32
Barque “Clarence” bearer of good tidings

Queensland is celebrating 150 years of statehood and on this day that long time ago the three masted Barque “Clarence” sailed into Brisbane with the words SEPARATION painted on her topsides. It was the first sign that a six year campaign by free settlers for a new colony independent of New South Wales had succeeded.
She bore the news that Sir George Bowen had been nominated by Queen Victoria to serve as the colony’s first Governor and so Queensland became an independent Australian state.
At that time the state was barely more than a cruel convict settlement in Moreton Bay but progress was to be rapid as it expanded toward 1901 and federation with the other States to become part of the Commonwealth of Australia. New Zealand and Fiji were also invited to join but declined.
Some, including me, would say that this was not a good economic or political solution in the long term as we are now stuck with five states and two territories that have independent governments under the mantle of a Federal Government and a bigger duplication of bureaucracy than a country of only 21million people needs.
Each state has its own police, transport, education, justice, health etc departments each with its own set of laws and rules to the extent that we have the following crazy anomalies;

If a person commits a felony in one state and scoots across the border to another the pursuing police need an extradition warrant to bring them home.

If your child starts their education in one state and has to transfer to another the curriculum may be well ahead or behind due to differences of policy.

If you are licensed to drive in one state and shift to another you have three months in which to re register the car and to obtain a new driver’s license after sitting a written test.

If you are driving a long haul road train between New South Wales and Victoria you are confronted with differing allowable axle loading at the border and, depending on the direction, you must travel under loaded to comply or off load some of the freight at the border.

Varying rail track gauges across the country bear evidence of uncooperative decisions
The health and medical anomalies are too many to mention but the list could go on and on and the mind boggles at the huge mass of bureaucrats that are duplicated due to this crazy separation of states that could well be treated as provinces or shires and governed by one set of laws and rules by the Federal Government.
It is often mentioned by federal politicians as an area needing attention prior to an election but the rhetoric fades as they come into power and slip it into the too hard basket.
I understand that Britain rules 65 million under one set of laws and Australia’s excuse that it is a geographically big country cuts little ice in these times of air transit and electronic communication.

It could be said that Queen Victoria stared it all by giving that little bunch of original Queenslander’s their separation in the first place.

Not quite a tall ship thread but at least I can use it as an excuse to let off steam.