Push for WAxit gains momentum as new political party forms to demand Western Australia forms its own country
- WA businessmen Russell Sewell and Peter McLernon want WA to be independent
- They left Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party to form the WARepublic Party
- The party will contest state election and lobby for a succession referendum
- If successful, they will form a new country ‘Western Australia’ using the state flag
- Poll by Utting Research showed 28 per cent wanted WA to secede Australia
There are new calls for Western Australia to ‘WAxit’ from the rest of the country and become a new independent nation.
WA businessmen Russell Sewell and Peter McLernon were both candidates for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party at the 2019 Federal election but left to form the new WARepublic Party in August.
While Mr Palmer is challenging WA’s hard border in the High Court, Mr Sewell and Mr McLernon want to take the border even further by creating an independent country.
The WARepublic party plans to gain seats at next year’s state election, lobby for a secession referendum and break away from the Federation to form a new country called ‘Western Australia’ that adopts the state flag featuring a black swan.
A recent poll carried out by market research group, Utting Research, found 28 per cent of 3,500 Western Australians surveyed want WA become its own country.
WA businessmen Russell Sewell (left) and Peter McLernon (right) were both United Australia Party candidates at the 2019 Federal election but have left to form the WARepublic Party
Mr Sewell said WA has been ‘disadvantaged by Federation’.
‘Never has there been a better time for discussion of secession than there is now, given that Mark McGowan’s closed border is pretty much the test for it,’ Mr Sewell told the West Australian.
‘We closed our border off, we are running our own show and most people are in favour of it. We believe if you work here, you live here and you spend here.’
‘Like the FIFO positions, where people have been able to come here from over East, take their money and fly back home and spend it somewhere else. That’s the sort of thing that really irks me, because that sort of thing hurts our economy.’
The WARepublic party plans to gain seats at next year’s state election, lobby for a secession referendum and break away from the Federation to form a new country called ‘Western Australia’
The WARepublic party wants to adopt the state flag featuring a black swan (pictured) as their national flag for a new country
Mr Sewell said his party has half of the 500 members required to register with the WA Electoral Commission.
He expects to reach the 500 target by late November and recruit six candidates for Upper House seats to run in the state election on March 13.
Meanwhile, his former party United Australia could be deregistered for failing to comply with the minimum 500-member requirement.
The budding politicians also started a WARepublic Facebook page in August but currently only have 179 likes as of publishing.
Mr Sewell said his party has half of the 500 members required to register with the WA Electoral Commission and expects to reach the target by November
News of the WARepublic Party comes after it was revealed one-in-four West Australians want their state to become a republic.
But the Utting Research survey also found some 55 per cent wanted the state to remain in the Federation and 17 per cent didn’t know.
WA slammed its borders shut in April as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and has remained closed off ever since.
Perth Labor MP, Patrick Gorman, said the results were ‘deeply concerning’.
Aerial view of Point Peron and Shoalwater Bay in WA. The idyllic state has a growing ‘WAxit’ movement with 28 per cent wanting to leave the Federation
‘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.’
Those who voted in the poll were from five different state electorates.
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.
Men and those aged between 40-59 were more in favour for a possible WAxit (pictured Perth’s skyline)
Norman Moore, a former politician in WA who has often spoken out about his secessionist views, said he wasn’t shocked by the results.
But he said that while he thought the state would thrive on its own, 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.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said reopening the borders to states with few cases would provide no economic benefit
Premier Mark McGowan last week remained adamant he would not open his state’s borders anytime soon despite coronavirus infection levels reaching a negligible level outside Victoria
The state has not recorded a case of coronavirus in the community for 180 days, but still refuses to open up – even to other safe states
‘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 won’t come down until the eastern states go 28 days with no community transmissions.
Mr McGowan remains adamant the borders won’t come down until the eastern states go 28 days with no community spread (pictured, Qantas crew check passengers on September 24)