2018 a busy year for elections

A spate of elections in 2018 could well change the Australian political landscape. There is the strong possibility of a Federal election, and the states of South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will definitely be going to the polls. There will also be local government elections in Tasmania and South Australia. The Federal Government does not […]

Councils seek referendum refunds from Canberra

By Julian Bajkowski Councils across Australia are seeking a refund from Canberra for more than $3 million in ratepayers money they spent to promote the ‘yes’ case for a referendum on the Constitutional recognition of local government that was scrapped alongside the announcement of a new federal poll date. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) […]

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 […]

Lake Macquarie warns roads at risk if referendum fails

By Julian Bajkowski The City of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales has come out fighting in support of the ‘yes’ case for the local government referendum, claiming residents stand to lose at least $3 million a year if federal money dries up. The Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Jodie Harrison, has warned the “really […]

Abbott pushes referendum Vote No case

By Julian Bajkowski Coalition support for the ‘yes’ case in the referendum on Constitutional recognition for local government has edged one step closer to official collapse after Opposition leader Tony Abbott intensified his attack on the poll process amid growing internal pressure to withdraw bipartisan support. Speaking at a press conference in Whittlsea, Victoria, Mr […]

Referendum legislation clears Senate despite Coaltion walkout

By Julian Bajkowski Legislation to make a local government referendum on 14th September has finally cleared the Senate amid a widening split in the Coalition that resulted in seven members of the Opposition cross the floor to vote against the bill and at least as many abstaining. The last minute bid to shoot down referendum […]

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 […]

Small Victorian councils risk becoming “unsustainable”

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) has issued a stern warning that “small councils” could be left financially unsustainable due to their increasing dependency on state government and Commonwealth grants and rate hikes still not being enough to pay for rising costs. The wake-up call is contained in a new […]

Bureaucrats roasted over referendum education progress

By Julian Bajkowski The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sports has come under fire from the Opposition during Senate Estimates over the rate of progress in its efforts to mount a civics campaign to inform Australians about the looming referendum on whether or not to give financial recognition to local government in […]

Council resource bans cleared for referendum campaign use

By Julian Bajkowski The New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet has moved to clear up confusion over whether or not strict new prohibitions on the use of council resources for partisan election campaigning would also capture local governments pushing for a ‘yes’ vote in the forthcoming referendum. According to a statement from the […]

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” […]

Committee green light for local government referendum

By Julian Bajkowski The final report of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government has recommended that a referendum be put to electors at the 14th September 2013 federal election despite the relatively short lead-time, but support within the Coalition could be fracturing along Liberal and National party lines. After previously reserving […]

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