Liberals support for referendum shatters

By Julian Bajkowski Bitter factional infighting has torn apart public Coalition support for a Constitutional change that would guarantee federal funds can flow directly to more than 500 local governments after key hard-right elements publicly railed against the case for a ‘yes’ vote in a torrid Senate debate. After more than a year of publicly […]

‘No’ camp accuses Albanese of abuse of process over referendum funding

By Julian Bajkowski Opponents of Constitutional recognition for local government have accused the federal minister leading the multi-party push for a ‘yes’ vote of trying to buy the referendum result by giving $31.6 million to supporters and just $500,000 to opponents of direct funding for councils. Conservative dominated group ‘No Power Grab’ claims that the […]

PM burns rubber on campaign for councils to buy Australian cars

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski Local governments have come under direct pressure from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to use ratepayer’s money to buy Australian vehicles for their fleets to help keep the domestic car manufacturing alive – despite billions of dollars in government subsidies failing to keep factories at Ford and Mitsubishi operating. Ms […]

Gillard warns referendum is ‘last chance’ for councils

By Julian Bajkowski Embattled Prime Minister Julia Gillard has bluntly warned Australia’s 560 councils and shires that the forthcoming referendum on Constitutional recognition for local government will be their final chance to guarantee direct funding for projects from Canberra. Speaking at the opening of the 2013 National General Assembly for Local Government in Canberra, Ms […]

Public service given mobile marching orders

By Julian Bajkowski Federal agencies and departments have been firmly put on notice by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Special Minister of State Mark Dreyfus QC that they are expected to waste no time in delivering services to the public on mobile platforms as part of a major shake-up in public service culture. The two […]

Federal leadership turmoil weighs-on referendum

By Julian Bajkowski A referendum that could give financial uncertainty to federally funded local government projects like Roads to Recovery is again in doubt after another outbreak of internal attacks within the Labor that threaten to topple Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Less than week after crucial legislation to hold a referendum finally cleared the House […]

New challenge to council CCTV use

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski A fresh row over how councils can use video surveillance and CCTV in New South Wales has erupted after moves by Local Government Minister Don Page to relax privacy regulations governing cameras encountered resistance from the Greens in the state’s upper house. The Greens have moved a motion that […]

NSW councils try to turn Page on referendum ‘yes’ case

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski Councils in New South Wales have repudiated claims by the state’s Minister for Local Government, Don Page, that an amendment to the Constitution to allow financial recognition of local governments will lead to pork barrelling as baseless scaremongering. As the September 14th referendum debate heats up, joint presidents of […]

Referendum text released amid Coalition cleavage

By Julian Bajkowski The Gillard government has finally released the text of the proposed Constitutional amendment to give financial recognition to local government, with Opposition spokesman on local government Barnaby Joyce emphatically backing the case for change in the face of a fresh Coalition rupture on the issue. After weeks of intense horse-trading, Local Government […]

Budget 2013-14 delivers $18 billion deficit but spares big cuts

By Julian Bajkowski Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered a Budget crowned by a gaping $18 billion deficit and underpinned by future “responsible, targeted” savings projections of $43 billion to be delivered by Finance Minister Penny Wong in what could become a largely decorative set of numbers following the federal election in just four-months. After […]

More public sector sackings expected in Budget

 By Julian Bajkowski   Federal public servants are bracing for a fresh round of job cuts after pre-Budget scene setting by the Gillard government confirmed around $580 million savings aim to be extracted from the bureaucratic machinery.   The projected savings have triggered warnings from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) but are understood […]

Fragile referendum support holds amid more barbs

By Julian Bajkowski Independent power broker Tony Windsor has expressed confidence that a referendum on financial recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution on 14th September can succeed, despite Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing vote without a form of words for the question. Mr Windsor told Government News that a ‘yes’ vote was “achievable” […]

Doctors operate NBN for an easier diagnosis

By Paul Hemsley Federal Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced that the federal government will fund nine telehealth projects that will use the National Broadband Network (NBN) to improve telecommunications between doctors and patients. Telehealth is a technological application between medical professionals and patients that allows easier communications between all parties, which has […]

Gillard green lights local government referendum as recriminations fly

By Julian Bajkowski and Paul Hemsley Prime Minister Julia Gillard has finally confirmed that the federal government intends hold a September 14 referendum that if successful would allow the financial recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution, but there are signs of growing tensions and signs of fracturing support for the poll within the […]

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