With QLD Premier Campbell Newman writing to his fellow Premiers calling
on them to support a referendum on constitutional recognition of local
government at the upcoming election, and strong support from local
councils around Australia, it is clear momentum is building for a
referendum so this important level of government is recognised, says
Australian Greens local government spokesperson Lee Rhiannon commenting
on parliamentary committee hearings in Sydney today.
Premier Campbell Newman's enthusiasm for a referendum is matched by NSW
and Queensland local councils which are strongly behind a referendum
this year to provide financial certainty so key services can be
delivered to local communities," Senator Rhiannon said.
is broad support for the third tier of government to be recognised in
the Constitution to ensure the Commonwealth's power to directly fund
local government is legitimised.
warned the inquiry today that unless direct funding by the federal
government can be guaranteed residents will face either fewer services
or higher rates.
councils are now in the business of delivering not only traditional
services like libraries and rubbish collection but also affordable
housing and public transport projects.
2009 High Court case created uncertainty around the ability of the
federal government to provide direct grants to local councils.
"The clear recommendation of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition is that this referendum should go ahead.
"The Gillard government now needs to do the leg work and champion the change," Senator Rhiannon said.