Local councils and the 2013 referendum
THE VOTE NO ARGUMENT
I have written a lot of articles on the issue of local
councils and the constitution, but here is a quick overview that relates to the
up and coming referendum.
The date of the referendum is up in the air as of this week, with the change from Gillard to Rudd, as the referendum must be held 2 months after passing the senate, the date must be after the 24th of August, the G20 summit is a week before the original date of the 14th of September, and Rudd will want to be there, so September the 14th or later would be an educated guess.
In the past 40 years local councils have grown into a
powerful corporate structure writing laws, issuing taxes, fines, charges, licences,
registrations, building development and a host of increasing red tape all being
inflicted on both the community and Australian small business.
It is interesting that councils have obtained the power to do
all this from state government legislation, not by way of the public debate nor
constitutional recognition, in fact when the people of Australia were asked if
we wished to see the “establishment and continuance” of local councils, we said
Since around 1920 local councils have been funded by the federal
government via the states, simply because it is state legislation that empowers
and police’s local councils, not federal legislation nor the constitution itself.
funding arrangement still exists and has served us well for nearly a century;
it ensures the separation of powers in our constitution are upheld.”
Without this separation of powers, the commonwealth would be
able to bypass the state and impose their own ideals on local governance using
the power of their considerable local funding promises to manipulate local
The reason councils were never included in the constitution is
that local councils were never considered a level of government, so in recent
years the federal Labor governments have tried to side step the states to
intervene in local issues, in 1974 (Whitlam) and 1988 (Hawke) called for referendums
that asked the Australian public if we indeed wanted the establishment or
continuance of local governments and the Australian people voted a clear No!
When the people by way of a referendum say NO, to words like “establishment
and continuance” it should mean just that, yet these private corporations have
continued to flourish and expand their powers over most local community issues,
using bluff over substance.
The 1974 and 1988 referendums were funded by the commonwealth
with both the Yes and No arguments receiving equal funding, to ensure
transparency, even though private donations fell behind the Yes argument.
Interestingly the 2013 Labor government backed referendum has
led to some interesting funding arrangements, first of all the LGA started
pooling rate payer’s moneys over 12 months ago, well before we the people were aware of the
The federal government then showed their true cards, by a
95%/5% split in allocation of funding, 9.5 million to back the yes argument,
and only 0.5 million on the no side of the debate, even the booklet going out
to every Australian home has the no argument buried at the back.
Our Constitution was created through open and honest debate, so any changes to it must be made in the same manner, and from that stand point it has already failed!
For any federal government to disregard democracy at such a
grass roots level is a disgrace, in the same way allowing rate payers money to
be used to empower local councils without the approval of their constitutions
just goes to prove where this referendum is going, and what the results will be
if we dare vote yes.
The issue here is one of 3 strikes and you are out, so the
YES argument is going to be sold any way it can, and we all know what that
means, when questioned on the issue Anthony Albanese said “If the outcome is a NO
vote it won’t matter” that being the case, why spend all the tax payer and rate
payers money, on asking a question the Australian people have already clearly
When the 74 and 88 referendums failed the state government
exceeded their powers under the constitution, and wrote legislation that purported
to empower local councils that were now a corporate structure, in an attempt to
have them seen as a third tier of government.
An interesting side note here is that the states have no
right to raise taxes, yet the legislation written in an attempt to empower
local councils, allows them that very right, because rates are indeed a tax.
How can a
state government pass on powers it doesn’t even enjoy in its own right?
The big sell on voting YES is nothing more than a load of
rubbish, the LGA quote a recent high court case that restricts the commonwealth
from directly funding local government, and of course that is the case, because
local councils are not a tier of government, and secondly the commonwealth has
no right to fund them, because that is what the protections found in our separation
of powers is all about.
The commonwealth funding has always passed through the state
governments hands, and so it should, when questioned on the looming referendum,
Labor made it clear, if the referendum ends in another NO vote, nothing will
change, so the LGA’s sell, that it will affect its funding is nothing more than
What many people forget, Labor for many years has used local
councils as a training ground for their budding members, so empowerment of a
local corporation into the realm of governance has the ability to impede in
many ways the federal structure of our nation.
The most important issue supporting a NO vote is the ability
to police local councils, because the only power to do so is the State
governments, should the Commonwealth get control of the councils, then who
polices them? We have state governments, state laws, state courts and state authorities,
we have federal governments, federal courts and federal authorities’, if local
councils corporations become a quazi form of local government, who would police
Dare we the Australian people risk another tier of government
that has no independent checks and balances, let alone continue to allow the
councils to act in the ways they presently do, from my point of view, we should
take way some of their powers, or at the very least define what they are,
because the constitution and the people clearly give them none.
Never forget that local council CEO's are paid more than our Prime Minister just in case you wonder where your council rates end up. story here
Writing laws that are used against the people, issuing taxes
where they have no rights and the increased intrusion into our lives has
already become unacceptable conduct, so the last thing we need do is give them
As a Community advocate and a small business owner, I could
and will list some of the issues we are already confronted with when dealing
with a corporation who think they are tier of government.
Wanting to enter private properties with out warrants, tell
us how to clean our homes and even our garden sheds, how long our grass will
be, what colour we paint our walls, how we conduct business, where we place
signs, how many pets, the issue of fines, rates, registrations, development
planning, how we use our parks, our car parks and our land, applications to
hold a family get together, demands to have liability insurance to hold a
family BBQ in a public park, I could go on and on and on.
we must have checks and balances is one thing, intrusion into every aspect of
our lives is another, but giving local corporations the power of government
will only bring with it more red tape and massive increases in the cost of
Try selling your excess eggs, bake a cake for a fundraiser,
or sell tomato sauce from your front lawn, and you will find out exactly how
far their supposed powers have taken them, voting yes will only make it worse. Imagine
local wannabe politicians wielding even more power without any
credible checks and balances.
Imagine the federal government being able to side step our
state government and enter our homes through local corporations they control, without
local authorities being able to protect us.
There are rafts or reasons to vote NO, since 1906 only 8 out
of 44 referendums have passed, simply because changes to our constitution can
have huge ramifications, because what may appear as simple word changes can
bring with them a raft of interpretations, which I cover in detail on my
The people that debated the words in our constitution did so
in the best interests of our nation, and even though successive governments
have done all in their power to water down its protections, it still remains a
very powerful tool and indeed.
“It is more
than evident that those who now wish to change our constitution do not have
those same best interests in mind, so I will vote no for that reason alone”.
Independent candidate for Wakefield
82847482 / 0403379500