This state wanted to leave Australia so badly, it had a referendum – The Feed – SBS

There was a time when the people of Western Australia were so sold on leaving Australia, they held a state referendum to get a sense check – and the majority of people voted ‘yes’.

But despite sustained efforts to separate from the rest of Australia, WA could not pull off “WAxit” to create “Westralia” (yes, both of those are real terms used over the years).

And the idea of seceding from the rest of Australia was not a one-off fantasy. It’s entrenched in WA’s history – even before federation – and the state almost didn’t join Australia to begin with.

Inside AUKUS – Crikey

Australia’s $368 billion AUKUS submarine deal raises more questions than it answers. Led by Scott Morrison, a prime minister who had a habit of covert dealings and fudging reality, it is one of the most egregious expenditures in the nation’s history. In this new series, investigations editor David Hardaker delves into the reality of the political relationships with defence and its lucrative contracts.

Gotland class submarines

Deisel/ electric submarines need to surface for air every few days.
One of the supposed advantages of nuclear submarines is they can stay submerged for weeks or months without needing to surface for air.

The Gotland class of submarines from the Kockums shipyard in Sweden are the first to be powered by sterling engines while submerged. It allows them to stay submerged for weeks at a time, and they are also very quiet, stealthy and highly maneuverable. In trials, they have recorded significant kills.

What criteria were used to select nuclear-powered submarines for Australia? They are an extremely poor choice on cost and times scale to deliver. It would take decades to build up the infrastructure and expertise to be able to manage and handle nuclear-powered vessels. The political issues with nuclear power alone are a major barrier to a successful program.

Australia currently has a fleet of six Collins-class submarines. The Gotland class of submarines would be worth exploring, as they were both based on designs by the Kockums shipyards in Sweden and the transfer of technology would be more seamless, compared to nuclear-powered submarines. With sterling engines they may offer many of the advantages that the nuclear-powered submarines are supposed to offer.

The Collins class is an enlarged version of the Kockums Västergötland-class submarine.

Structure of the Australian Federation

The diagram above shows the Legislative Branch of the Australian Federation.
It includes the monarch as head of state, the Crown of Australia, the representatives of the head of state, and the parliaments.
It shows the one-to-many relationship between the monarch and his representatives, the Governor-General for the federal tier and the Governors for the states’ tier, respectively.

The next diagram shows the situation for Ireland. Ireland had a one-to-one relationship between the monarch and his representative, the Governor-General for the Irish Free State.

The model for the Republic of Ireland will not work for Australia. The proposals by the ARM for the 1999 referendum and the Australia Choice Model take their inspiration from the Irish model and will not work.

The next diagram shows how the structure of Australia’s Federation would change if the ARM Australia Choice Model is adopted through a referendum. With the ARM models, the monarch and Crown are abolished, and the Governor-General is promoted to head of state, similar to how Ireland transformed into a republic.

The ARM models leave many question marks and do not adequately think through the transition to a republic. The job is half done, with a half-baked republic being the result.