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2013 Local Government Referendum » More Power to Canberra?

An article by John Brett, member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy - Toowoomba Branch

Seven compelling reasons…

to vote against the Local Government Amendment

By Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, the University of Queensland

Seven compelling reasons…

  1. Federalism is a worthy ideal to be defended against the proposed amendment
  2. The amendment will interfere with the power of state parliaments to make arrangements for the local administration of the state.
  3. The amendment will erode the legislative power of State Parliaments
  4. The amendment allows the Commonwealth government to interference with state policy
  5. The proposed amendment weakens fiscal federalism
  6. The proposed amendment does not improve local government
  7. The amendment will allow the Commonwealth to subvert the Australian Constitution

Read Seven compelling reasons » (415KB PDF)

Listen to Seven compelling reasons » (46MB MP3 audio)

See also:
The article by John Brett Power in many hands »
A range of information from The Constitutional Reform Unit Uni Of Sydney
Download Constitutional Reform Unit Report (900KB PDF)
Or purchase the book “The Chameleon Crown” by Anne Twomey via Federation Press.

In the life of our federal constitution since 1901 there have been over 50 attempts to alter our constitution. Those alterations that sought more federal power, at the expense of the States, all failed. They were changes sought by the federal politicians, but the proposed alteration to the constitution at a referendum in 2013 is not the idea of the federal politicians. It had its origins and impetus from COAG, the Council Of Australian Governments, that adopted the United Nations Agenda 21 of “regionalisation”.

Local Government is incorporated in State Constitutions and is the working arm of the States. This amendment would deliver more power to Canberra and allow Canberra to by-pass money payments to the States, emasculating the States at the same time, so federal politicians are not opposing the proposal. No opprobrium will be attached to them if this new power is delivered into their hands without their having to risk their reputations canvassing the alteration.

Local Governments throughout Australia instigated, and have been the main financers of, the push to have Local Government recognised in the federal constitution. Because they are perpetually short of money which comes to them through their parent State governments, they believe that being able to be financed directly from Canberra will solve their problems.

Local Government’s financial problem is a financial problem, not a constitutional problem. If this amendment is approved at the polls by Australians, then the whole Australian continent will be seen as “regions” by Canberra, no longer as separate States. This enormous number of “regions” first proposed by Gough Whitlam over 40 years ago, will then be competing with each other trying to get the money they need. Where before their State parents had to do all the fighting for them at the “Loans Council” meetings in Canberra, they may never even be invited to the enormous table required in Canberra. The further your Council is from Canberra the less you will be heard!

In an election year money will go to the regions where the incumbent government needs to buy votes, or will not go to regions that have upset or opposed their federal masters between elections, just as voters censure politicians at each election. Federal politicians must be salivating at the thought of this new “divide and conquer” weapon being delivered into their hands without even having to ask! What headmaster would like a cane of this size delivered to him by his pupil’s, with their approval for its unlimited use?

Regional border disputes will arise everywhere a dispute is possible, as in the Soviet Union where people are kept in constant conflict amongst the adjacent region or regions, never getting what any one region requires. This is where this idea has its roots and can be seen by any observant Councillor.

If a ‘YES’ vote prevails we will suffer all that those who have the same system suffer.

A ‘NO’ vote will ensure no consequences, while we have time to solve this otherwise solvable financial problem, without the enormous penalties the ‘YES’ vote will bring upon ourselves.

John Brett 2/8/2013

 

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Resource: ourconstitution.org/2013-local-government-referendum.php Printed: 2018-12-12
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