Crocodile tears flow for referendum sacrifice

By Julian Bajkowski Councils across Australia will soon be forced to explain to ratepayers how much of their money was spent pushing the ‘Yes’ case for the proposed referendum on financial recognition for local government in the Constitution after the poll officially bit the dust on Sunday. The announcement of a 7th September election date […]

QLD Premier breaks ranks over referendum

By Julian Bajkowski Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has thrown down the gauntlet to other Australian state and territory leaders to back the ‘yes’ case in a proposed referendum on financial recognition of local governments or risk losing billions of dollars of direct Commonwealth funding for council projects and services. In a dramatic escalation of pressure […]

Barnaby backs referendum over Committee dissenters

By Julian Bajkowski   Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce has accused the Gillard government of attempting to let a proposed referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government deliberately die of neglect – despite the plebiscite having ongoing federal Coalition support. In a broadside aimed directly at Local Government minister Simon Crean, Senator Joyce claimed that the […]

O’Farrell warns of federal abuse

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has warned that the federal government could abuse any new powers to directly fund local government programs after the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government preliminary report recommended a referendum on the topic at the next federal election. “We don’t […]

Coalition dissenters hold-out on referendum support

By Julian Bajkowski The federal Opposition has pulled-up short of giving its full backing to a referendum on the financial recognition of local government at the next election, a move that raises questions over whether the Coalition will continue to back the proposal ahead of the forthcoming federal poll. In a dissenting preliminary report issued […]

Fed committee gives green light to referendum

By Julian Bajkowski The parliamentary committee tasked with evaluating the merits of holding a referendum on amending the Constitution to give financial recognition to local government has recommended that a poll be held at the forthcoming federal election this year. Published today, the ‘yes’ recommendation from the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local […]

Separate referendum would cost $121m

By Julian Bajkowski A stand-alone referendum on Constitutional Recognition for local government outside a federal election would cost taxpayers a minimum of $121 million in costs incurred by the Australian Electoral Commission alone, the agency responsible for running the polls has estimated. The big number price tag is contained in the AEC’s submission to the […]

Referendum committee boils over

By Julian Bajkowski Federal parliamentarians have rounded on their local government colleagues over an attempt to try and postpone a referendum to secure legal certainty over direct funding for council-based projects from Canberra. At a visibly tense public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government in Sydney on Wednesday, federal […]


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