Northern Territory must reunite with SA, Vickie Chapman says in farewell address to parliament

South Australia and the Northern Territory may have split up more than 110 years ago. Still, a former Attorney General is urging jurisdictions to let go of the past and formally re-embrace Germany’s “after the Berlin Wall” fell”.

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Vickie Chapman says state and territory reunification has long been a cause she supports. Her family’s time in witness protection

Outgoing liberal SA MP Vickie Chapman used her farewell address in state parliament to put forward the idea for state-territory reunification, suggesting such a move would be of mutual benefit.

“I have long believed, often to the chagrin of my colleagues, that we should explore the reunification of the Northern Territory with South Australia,” Ms. Chapman told SA Parliament.

“We gave it away in 1907; the Commonwealth accepted it in 1910.

“Reunification was achieved in Germany after the Berlin Wall came down, so we can do it – before Queensland jumps in.”

Ms. Chapman invoked the time of German reunification in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was torn down. (Wikimedia Commons: Sue Ream)

Northern Territory

The term “Northern Territory” once referred to the “Northern Territory of South Australia,” The landmass was formally annexed by its southern neighbor in the 1860s before being ceded to the fledgling Commonwealth nearly 50 years later.

“The Northern Territory has resources and is strategically located in the north of Australia with security infrastructure,” Ms. Chapman continued.

“It has water, liquefied gas, gold, and a youthful population.

“South Australia can provide opportunities for their state, employment, higher education, and a commercial base that will help Territorians, not to mention our industry-leading growth in the cyber defense and aerospace sectors.”

Mrs. Chapman used her farewell address to revive the idea of ​​a reunion. (ABC News)

Ms. Chapman, Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister from March 2018 to November 2021 announced her decision to leave parliament shortly after the Liberals’ election defeat in March this year, triggering an upcoming by-election in her inner Adelaide seat, Bragg.

Colleagues from both sides of the political divide paid tribute to the steadfast liberal, moderate faction, including former Prime Minister Steven Marshall, who spoke of a “leadership partnership” the likes of which “the liberal party has never seen before”.

“I’ve joked here before that the relationship I’ve had with the Member for Bragg is twice as long as my marriage,” he said.

“I can’t tell you how many times she saved my bacon, sitting in the chair now occupied by the Prime Minister.”

Deputy Prime Minister Susan Close praised her predecessor’s “progressive politics” (ABC News)

Deputy Prime Minister Susan Close recalled the moment ten years ago when Mrs. Chapman approached her and another new Labor MP after their first speeches.

Bragg’s Member came over and went out of his way to say that she welcomed us as women in this room, and if we had any problems going to her, she was there for us as much as any other female member – and we have never forgotten that” she told parliament.

“There are three salient features from my perspective for the Member for Bragg: her leadership as a woman, her progressive politics, and her strong character.”

Labor Secretary Tom Koutsantonis described Ms. Chapman as “a formidable opponent” who was both “strong and determined” in pursuing political results.

“I think of someone who has probably been the most determined opponent we’ve ever met in the 20 years I’ve been here,” he said.

“She probably should have led her party but never did. I often wonder what would have happened if she had led her party if things had turned out differently.”

Young MP thinks about witness protection.

As Ms. Chapman drew the curtain on her 20-year career as an MP, there were also maiden speeches, including from a new Member of the Legislative Council, Laura Curran.

The 26-year-old Liberal MP spoke about her family’s time in witness protection because of her father’s work before moving to the Middle East.

“I spent my teenage years growing up in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a country with great social restrictions at the time, especially for women,” she said.

“As a woman living there, I was not allowed to drive a car, let alone raise my hand for public office.”

Laura Curran reflected on her time in Saudi Arabia and witnessed her protection experience. (Facebook)

Ms. Curran said her father’s work for the NSW Police Force had forced the family into witness protection when a “threat against my family was identified”.

“When I was five years old, my father worked undercover for the New South Wales Police, infiltrating motorcycle gangs, murder suspects, and other criminal organizations,” she told parliament.

“One of my earliest childhood memories is of officers evacuating us from our home, being taken in the middle of the night by a convoy of police cars, and being pushed from safe house to safe house.”

Ms. Curran said it was an honor and an opportunity to become just the 23rd female Member – out of more than 270 – in the Legislative Council’s history.

“I hope that in our great state, young girls and women will look to our parliament as we see more women elected and feel inspired,” she said.

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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