ALGA wants parliamentary committee

THE Australian Local Government Association has taken another step in its push to have a referendum on the constitutional recognition of local government by calling for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to examine the issue.

ALGA president Felicity-ann Lewis said she had written to all major political parties and independent MPs seeking their support.

Cr Lewis last month met with Federal Local Government Minister Simon Crean, who said the government would consider establishing a committee.

This follows an undertaking by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to hold a referendum on the financial recognition of local government by next year.

"ALGA has long maintained that the only way to protect direct federal funding for community services and infrastructure is to have local government recognised in the Australian Constitution and we are keen to work with the Commonwealth on putting in place the conditions for a successful referendum," Cr Lewis said.

ALGA is seeking an amendment of Section 96 of the Constitution so it would read: "Parliament may grant financial assistance to any state or local government body formed by or under a law of a state or territory on such terms and conditions as the Parliament sees fit."

The issue was discussed at length during ALGA's national conference earlier this year.



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