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Gillard Confirms Local Govt Yes Campaign: goal destroy the states of the Federation

Gillard Confirms Local Govt Yes Campaign: goal destroy the states of the Federation

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Published by Carl Cord

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Carl Cord on May 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Gillard confirms local governmentreferendum
By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths
Updated Thu May 9, 2013 2:19pm AEST 
Prime Minister Julia Gillardhas launched the "yes"campaign for a referendumdesigned to ensure federal funds can flow directly to localgovernments.
 As well as voting in the federal election on September 14, voters will beasked to decide whether local councils and shires should be recognised inthe Australian Constitution.The question has been put to voters twice before, in 1974 and 1988, butboth times it was rejected.Ms Gillard says this time there is a better chance of success because thechange has bipartisan support."This referendum will be presented in a bipartisan spirit; the Leader of theOpposition has indicated he is prepared to support such a referendum" shesaid.However, Opposition spokesman for local government Barnaby Joyce hasissued a press release criticising the Government for announcing thereferendum too late, saying it has set it up "for certain failure".Senator Joyce also confirmed that the "the Coalition has always supportedthe appropriate financial recognition of local government in the Constitution".The Government says the consultation process has been "meticulous" andLocal Government Minister Anthony Albanese has called on Senator Joyceto stop nitpicking.
Page 1of 5Gillard confirms local government referendum -ABC News (Australian Broadcasting ...10/05/2013http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/gillard-confirms-local-government-referedu...
"Barnaby Joyce has said that he supports this referendum, what he has todo therefore is to change a habit of a lifetime, and go out and actually bepositive," Mr Albanese said."You can't actually say that you support something and then nitpick at thesides."The Government says the constitutional change would guard against anycourt challenge to the existing Roads to Recovery program, worth $350million a year in federal funding which flows directly to local authorities, tospend on road upgrades.The risk of a legal challenge arises from last year's High Court decision thatfederal funding for a school chaplaincy program was unconstitutional.But the former senior Liberal minister, Peter Reith, who led the successfulcampaign for a 'no' vote in 1988 has urged the Opposition to oppose thechange."It's a complete waste of money," he said."Australia has an excellent Constitution the claim that the reform or changeis necessary to be able to fund local government is simply a ruse - there isabsolutely nothing stopping the Federal Governments funding localgovernments through state governments."Both the president of the Local Government Association and Brisbane'sLiberal Lord Mayor Graham Quirk voiced their support for the changealongside the Prime Minister.Mr Quirk and Mr Albanese both moved to reassure state and territorygovernments that their role overseeing local councils will not be affected."The change will not impact the relationship of local government to stategovernments," Mr Albanese said."It will recognise, of course, that local governments are creations of stategovernments and are still responsible to and accountable to those stategovernments."Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has told the ABC that WA wouldsupport the change "so long as it is recognised as a function of the state (ieWA) and does not create new powers for the Commonwealth, which webelieve would lead to further duplication of legislation".
Page 2of 5Gillard confirms local government referendum -ABC News (Australian Broadcasting ...10/05/2013http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/gillard-confirms-local-government-referedu...
There is also a push for a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians inthe constitution, but Ms Gillard says senior Indigenous leaders have advisedher that this is not the right time to put that question to the Australian people.
government-and-politics, federal-government, local-government, federal-election,referendums, australia
First posted Thu May 9, 2013 11:13am AEST 
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1:31 PM on 09/05/2013
I wonder why it was knocked back in 74 and 88. Will the forces of negativity thatpervade our political debate at the moment come out of the woodwork againwithout giving any thought to the issues?Come on barnaby, get on board.
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1:30 PM on 09/05/2013
If I were a cynic I would suggest that this is a means whereby a federalgovernment could push federal funds to its own "safe" seats or pet project areasdespite sitting in a potentially opposition state, and theoretically bypassing thestate government.If there is direct federal funding to local councils, there is also direct federalinfluence, which might not be in the interests of the state as a whole, especiallyif state and federal governments are of different parties
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1:22 PM on 09/05/2013
There are too many levels of government. I do not like it. I will vote NO. Wehave too much bureaucracy and my experience in a regional area is that thelocal council is a complete waste of space. We need them amalgamated and
Page 3of 5Gillard confirms local government referendum -ABC News (Australian Broadcasting ...10/05/2013http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/gillard-confirms-local-government-referedu...

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