ELECTION 2010: Local government funding must be examined

South Australian councils have called for both parties to support a Parliamentary inquiry into local government revenue.

In a direct appeal ahead of next week’s federal election, the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) said that ongoing concern regarding federal powers to fund community initiatives via local government made Constitutional reform vital to communities across Australia.

LGA president, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis said communities had the right to know how they will be supported in the future and called on the major parties, to commit to Constitutional change.

“We want the Federal Government to be able to directly fund local government and for this to happen the Constitution, shaped in 1901, must be updated to become appropriate to the needs of communities in the 21st Century and beyond,” Mayor Lewis said.

“We are also asking the major parties to support the establishment of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy, or in fact inadequacy, of Local Government revenue.

“We want a commitment from the next federal government that it will work with local government to assist councils with associated costs and funding for support programs.”

Mayor Lewis said that local government has proved its value through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) and other funding arrangements with the Federal Government.

“Our communities deserve a voice at the national table and Local Government is ready, willing and able to be that voice. We want the Federal Government to be able to directly fund Local Government and the Constitution needs to be amended to reflect this."

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