Federal funding for constitutional reform

Federal Minister for Local Government, Anthony Albanese.
Federal Minister for Local Government, Anthony Albanese.  Image: Eddie Misic.

By Angela Dorizas

The Federal Government has reaffirmed its support for constitutional recognition of local government, announcing a funding commitment of $250,000 towards the campaign.

Speaking at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly in Canberra today, Minister for Local Government, Anthony Albanese, said the funding would assist councils in raising awareness within the community of the need for constitutional recognition of the third tier of government.

“The $250,000 is a contribution from the Rudd Government to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), the peak local government organisation, for ALGA to facilitate their campaign through individual local governments,” Mr Albanese told Government News.

Mr Albanese did not indicate when a referendum on constitutional recognition would take place, but said the Government was committed to introducing a referendum “when the time is right”.

“We recognise that there is some way to go in bringing the community with us on this issue,” Mr Albanese told delegates.

“In order for the question to be successful the third time around, we need to work together to persuade the people that formal recognition is about improving our partnership to support local communities.”

ALGA president Geoff Lake said the announcement came as a surprise, but was nonetheless welcomed by the sector.

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