Introduction1901/2001End of Isolation?IdentityRaceEchoes of secession
The Commonwealth and WAConstitutionThe Carve UpCommonwealth Power and the States

Issues 2001

"We have spent 70 years diligently forgetting the West Australian Secession Movement. The reason we have is because it threatens our self image. Our self image is we're all happy Australians working together gradually getting even closer and closer together."

Professor Greg Craven, University of Notre Dame, Australia, March 2000 [Battye Library, OH3016] [full text]

Perth in 2029By the end of the 20th century it seemed as if the only issue which might spark secession would be the omission of a Western Australian from the national cricket team. Increased mobility, transmigration and improved communications have all helped to bring Western Australia closer to the rest of Australia. Both globalisation and nationalism have resulted in the kind of centralisation of political power, of government and commercial institutions, and of media production which encourage a uniform national identity.

Despite these developments, or perhaps because of them, the kind of parochial sentiment which inspired secession movements in Western Australia has survived in public and political discourse. The view from the Indian Ocean remains a distinct one. The sandgroper identity, shaped by the isolation of Western Australians, has been reflected in the evolution of Commonwealth/State relations.

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