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Referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government good news fo communities

09 May, 2013

Media Release
9 May, 2013
Referendum on constitutional recognition of local
government good news for communities
The Lord Mayors of Australia's capital cities have welcomed today’s announcement by the Prime Minister that a
referendum will be held on 14 September 2013 to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution.
Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, said a referendum
represents an opportunity for Australians to vote to secure ongoing Federal funding of local facilities and
services.
“Constitutional recognition of local government sounds convoluted and grandiose, but let’s be clear, what’s at
stake here is simply ensuring that local communities are able to receive Federal funding for local facilities
without costly and timely legal challenges” said CCCLM Chair and Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk.
“As civic leaders, we whole heartedly support updating Australia’s Constitution to reflect the reality that local
communities do and should receive access to Federal funds.
“Roads to Recovery is a good example of a Federal program which injects Federal money directly into local
roads, but the legitimacy of this program and other Federal programs is in jeopardy unless we recognise local
government in the constitution.
“As Lord Mayors we are pleased to see bipartisan support for constitutional recognition of local government.
Achieving cross party support for change is no mean feat, but it reflects the fact that the change being sought
aims to remove uncertainty.”
Lord Mayor Quirk said that constitutional recognition of local government would not change the relationship
between state and local governments.
“Local government is and will remain overseen and shaped by state and territory governments, and we will
remain the closest level of government serving the people. Constitutional recognition will merely ensure that
Federal funding is able to continue to be provided to communities through local government.
“I hope Australians rally and say yes to constitutional recognition of local government on 14 September, to
secure community access to Federal funds.”



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