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The Murrawarri Republic is a micronation that declared its independence from Australia in 2013, claiming territory straddling the border of the states of New South Wales-Queensland within Australia. The territory is the traditional homeland of the Murrawarri people, an aboriginal nation, but the majority of the population is now non-indigenous Australians. The government of Australia has not acknowledged the declaration of independence, and their independence has been wholly unrecognized.
|Location||parts of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia|
|Official languages||Muruwari, Australian English|
|Ethnic groups||Murrawarri people
• Chairman of the Provisional Council of State
|March 30, 2013|
|81,000 km2 (31,000 sq mi)[Note 1]|
|Purported currency||Australian dollar (AUD)|
UTC+11:00 (DST; NSW territory only)
Declaration of the Continuance of the State of Murrawarri NationEdit
On 30 March 2013, the Murrawarri Republic released a declaration announcing its independence. The Peoples Council of the Murrawarri gave the Queen of England [sic] (Elizabeth II), the Prime Minister of Australia (Julia Gillard), as well as the Premiers of Queensland (Campbell Newman) and New South Wales (Barry O'Farrell) 21 days to respond to the declaration.
The specific requests made to Queen Elizabeth II were:
- Treaty documents between the Murrawarri Nation and the Crown of Great Britain outlining the conditions of such a treaty,
- A Deed of Cession document that show the Murrawarri Nation has ceded Sovereignty, Dominion and Ultimate (Radical) to the Crown of Great Britain, or
- Documents showing a declaration of war against the Murrawarri Nation and its people by the Crown of Great Britain.
The deadline expired on 8 May 2013, with the Crown failing to give a response. The Council interpreted their failure to produce the requested documents to be affirmation by the Crown of "the Murrawarri Republic to be a continued Free and Independent State, in line with International law and covenants". On May 12, 2013, the Murrawarri people took their sovereignty campaign to the United Nations, asking that they be recognized as the world's newest country. On 13 May 2013, the Murrawarri Republic established a Ministry of Defence. The Declaration of Continued Independence, states that there shall be a referendum for the establishment of the elected not later than 1 April 2014 and that until such a referendum the People's Council shall act as the governing body.
On 30 May 2013, Time reported that Attorney-General’s Department of the Australian Government had not replied because there was no legal basis for a reply, a view backed by George Newhouse, a Sydney-based human-rights lawyer known for his work with indigenous Australians.
The Murrawarri Republic website identifies its territory as being roughly triangular in shape, traversing the Queensland/New South Wales border with its easterly apex close to the two state borders about 600 km from the Pacific Ocean, on the landward side of the Great Dividing Range, its north-westerly apex close to the Queensland town of Cunnamulla and its southwesterly apex at the confluence of the Darling and Warrego Rivers. It is roughly 200 km from east to west and about 250 km from north to south. The republic’s website quotes its area as being 81,796 km2, but this area is inconsistent with measurements taken from the map.[Note 1]
The inconsistency between Murrawarri's land claim and the claimed land's true area has been specifically examined in a study published by Indigenous Policy Journal, which confirms that Murrawarri's true area is about 22,170 km2, less than one third of what is officially claimed. The study also concluded that "the proclamation of the Republic of Murrawarri is currently exerting a significant influence over similar contexts in Australia", thus reinforcing the debate on Aboriginal sovereignty.
The dominant vegetation and climate, based on the Köppen classification, is described as hot, persistently dry grassland. The average maximum and minimum temperatures in January are about 36°C and 18°C respectively and in July are 22°C and 5°C respectively. The rainfall is approximately 360 mm per annum, with more rain falling in the summer than in the winter.[Note 3]
The Mitchell Highway (A71) traverses the territory from north to south.
Provisional Council of StateEdit
The Provisional Council of State is the governing body of the Murrawarri Republic. The first meeting of the People's Council was held at Weilmoringle on 13 July 2013, where the meeting passed a unanimous resolution to establish the Provisional Council of State.
It is made up of 11 members who are Fred Hooper, Kevin Hooper, Phyllis Cubby, Evelyn Barker, Sam Jefferies, Desmond Jones, Phillip Sullivan, Julie Johnston, Gloria Johnston, Sharni Hooper, and Alison Salt. Fred Hooper is the current chairman of the Provisional Council of State.
The brown and the light blue represent mother earth. The brown representing the land and the light blue as the sky from where Murrawarri spirits reside until their return on the falling star, as well as the water and the people. The white star in the upper left corner has eight points which represent the eight clan groups of the Murrawarri Republic.
- The area of 81,796 km2 quoted on the website does not correspond with the coordinates cited in the same website. If the territory claimed is approximated by a triangle with its northerly apex at , its southerly apex at (quoted in the website) and its easterly coordinate at (estimated using A55 and A71 highways as reference points), the triangle will have sides of 263.3 km, 186.5 km and 254.6 km respectively. Using Heron's formula, such a triangle has an area of about 22,500 km2, significantly less than the quoted area of the territory—namely 81,796 km2.
- Maps published by the Murrawarri Provisional Council of State show that most, if not all, of the republic lies within the Shire of Paroo (Queensland) or Bourke Shire (New South Wales): the 2010 census quotes the Shire of Paroo as having a population of 1951 and Bourke Shire as having a population of 2868. Of this total of 4819, 3362 (or 69.76%) of the population of these shires are shown as living in the towns of Bourke and Cunnamulla, which lie outside the republic, leaving a population of about 1450.
- These figures are the averages of the figures for Bourke and Cunnamulla.
- "Murrawarri people take sovereignty campaign to UN". www.sbs.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "Currency". kyliegibbon4.wix.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- Neubauer, Ian Lloyd (30 May 2013). "Australia's Aborigines Launch a Bold Legal Push for Independence". Time magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Murrawarri people: The Queen Recognises Murrawarri Republic". nationalunitygovernment.org. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "Italian Media: Birth of the Republic of Aboriginal Murrawarri". Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in 'Australia'. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
- "The Murrawarri Republic declaration". Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in 'Australia'. April 2, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
- "Map". Murrawarri Republic. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Abbondanza, Gabriele (2017). "The Republic of Murrawarri and the Debate on Aboriginal Sovereignty in Australia". Indigenous Policy Journal. 28 (3): 1-16. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "Aboriginals Create the World's Newest Government". First Peoples Worldwide. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Australian climate zones". Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Media Release". Murrawarri Republic. 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- "Murrawarri Republic". Kyliegibbon4.wix.com.
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