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 […]

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 […]

Election date no impediment to referendum: Windsor

By Julian Bajkowski Key independent powerbroker Tony Windsor has vowed that the naming of a September 14th federal election date is no excuse to put off a referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government, saying the long lead-time provides a catalyst not an obstacle for the plebiscite to be held. “I think it’s got a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Barnaby backs ALGA referendum push

By Julian Bajkowski The Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) push to secure constitutional recognition has cleared an important political hurdle after the House of Representatives carried a motion last night to establish a 12 member Joint Select Committee to look into the proposal that would need to be put to a referendum. The bipartisan support […]

State, local government strike new agreement

By Angela Dorizas Local government’s campaign for constitutional recognition has gained momentum, with the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between the NSW State Government and the Local Government and Shires Associations (LGSA) on Monday. The formal signing of the agreement took place at the annual conference of the Local Government Association in Albury. It establishes […]

Voters ready to debate constitutional change

By Angela Dorizas Australians are a ready to consider changes to the Constitution, but support for local government recognition is not strong enough for a successful referendum campaign. The second phase of results from the Australian Constitutional Values Survey found strong support for referenda on Indigenous recognition and changing Australia’s federal system. Conducted by Professor […]

Burke and Crean take on future planning

By Angela Dorizas Councils and developers have welcomed the appointment of Simon Crean and Tony Burke to the two portfolios critical to future planning. Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced over the weekend that Simon Crean would become Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, while the Minister for Sustainable Population Growth, Tony Burke, […]

A vote for local government

By Angela Dorizas It has been a long battle for local government in its quest to be included in the Australian Constitution. But at last the campaign has gained momentum, with the Federal Government and Coalition publicly backing the drive for reform. In June, the Federal Government reaffirmed its support for constitutional change, with the […]

Royal visit reopens referendum debate

By Angela Dorizas Prince William’s visit to Australia has reopened the republican debate and put federal-state relations and local government reform back on the agenda. Attorney-General Robert McClelland told the Australian Financial Review that there were four potential questions to be put to voters in a referendum if Labor won the election this year. He […]

Inquiry on referendum rules

By Staff Writer The effectiveness of the rules of referendums will come under scrutiny in a new parliamentary inquiry. Chair of the House of Representatives Committee, Mark Dreyfus QC, announced that the House Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee is to review legislation administering the conduct of referendums. The processes fro preparing Yes and No cases […]


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