The ALP want to give grant money direct to Local Government, bypassing the states. This will then be used to as leverage to remove all states, delivering the ALP Whitlam’s Republican Dream. Older readers will remember when Whitlam dissolved the Commonwealth in 1974, this was to be his next move. Toss it out! VOTE NO!
AUSTRALIANS will be asked to vote in a referendum on changing the constitution at the September federal election.
The Gillard government will on Thursday announce the vote on recognising local government in the constitution will also be held on September 14.
The move, recommended by a parliamentary committee, comes after a recent successful High Court challenge to the federal government’s school chaplaincy program put in doubt other federally funded schemes.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night called on Australians to back the changes, saying local government was not mentioned in the constitution, despite everyone using its services often jointly funded with Canberra.
She said the draft legislation and the proposed words would be released shortly.
“We are asking the Australian people to support a small but important change to our constitution so that the existing practice of Federal Government support for local communities is formally recognised in our constitution,” she said.
“In just the last five years, the Commonwealth has partnered with local government to deliver over 6000 community projects such as libraries, indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, pools, walking trails, roads and bridges, in every single community.”
The referendum may be uncomfortable for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, following recent reports several in his party room oppose his in-principle support for it.
It was feared the extra task for voters may muddy normal election voting.
It has also been speculated that two states, Victoria and Western Australia, may campaign against the move over fears it would diminish the role of the states.
Ms Gillard said that “the change will not diminish the role of the states with regard to the administration of local government. Recognition in the constitution does not alter the fact that local governments are created by and are accountable to state governments”.