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2013 Local Government Referendum » Referendum Abandoned!

Reproduced in full from an email newsletter of

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 »
The article by John Brett More Power to Canberra? »
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.

We did it!

The local government referendum has been abandoned following Kevin Rudd”s decision to call a general election for 7 September!

This referendum was defeated because Kevin Rudd recognised the collapse in support as Australians realised this referendum was about increasing Canberra”s power at the expense of local communities. The first poll showed this referendum had more than 70 per cent support, it quickly declined to 53 per cent and then 47 per cent as a direct consequence of this campaign and your efforts.

The defeat of this referendum is a victory for citizens standing up against Canberra politicians and bureaucrats. It”s genuinely a citizen David versus Canberra and lobbyist Goliath win and we want to thank you for your effotrs! We showed the local government association - a special interest group - that you can”t buy the Australian Constitution.

We firstly want to thank Julian Leeser, National Convener of the Citizens' Vote No Committee, and Tim Wilson, campaign spokesperson, for all the unceasing hard work and energy they dedicated to this campaign.

We also want to thank the numerous civil society who joined with us including the Institute of Public Affairs, the Australian Taxpayer”s Alliance, the Victorian, West Australian, Tasmanian and South Australian Divisions of the Liberal Party, the Democratic Labor Party, the Victorian National Party, the Australian Liberal Students” Federation and Young Liberal Movements across Australia, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and the National Civic Council.

Special thanks must go to the MPs and Senators who voted against this referendum including Alex Hawke MP and Denis Jensen MP, as well as Senators Dean Smith, Cory Bernardi, Bridget McKenzie, Alan Eggleston, Chris Back, Davd Fawcett David Bushby and John Madigan.

We also want to note that the State Governments in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and Tasmania did not support the referendum. Special mention should be made of the Victorian Government and in particular Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell who made their position loud and clear on this issue. Many local councillors and Mayors across Australia also opposed this Canberra power grab.

It”s now time for the local government lobby to hand back the $20 million of public money it took from from taxpayers and local communities.

The Australian Local Government Association took $10 million from local communities to run an unnecessary referendum campaign and another $10 million from taxpayers. The referendum did not proceed, it”s time to hand the public”s money back.

Ratepayers gave that $10 million to Councils to fund local services, not a political campaign. Every single dollar should be handed back from the local government lobby group to ratepayers to help local communities and local services. The referendum did not proceed, it”s time to hand the public”s money back.

Once again,we thank you for your support. The defence of the Australian Constitution rests in the hands of active citizens just like you.

Peter Reith & Nick Minchin
Citizens' Vote NO Committee
Tuesday, 6 August 2013


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Resource: Printed: 2023-12-08
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