Late last week The Conversation online posted yet another piece expressing concern about the merits of the federal government’s proposed constitutional referendum on local government financial recognition.
The piece was written by Narelle Miragliotta, a senior lecturer in Australian politics at Monash University. The key arguments in her piece are as follows:
Whether it is the Gillard government’s intention or not, this referendum will permit further federal government expansion into affairs which it does not have original formal jurisdiction.
If successful, the referendum will introduce greater scope for federal governments to bypass those state governments that it perceives to be as recalcitrant by funding local governments directly.
The referendum on constitutional recognition of local government will expand the powers of the federal government and create new opportunities for it to impose its priorities on the states. This will not simply diminish state governments but the citizens that they serve and represent.