Tasmania expresses deep concerns about local government referendum

The New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian governments have declared their opposition to the local government constitutional recognition referendum agenda, standing up against efforts by Canberra to acquire unparalleled powers to interfere with local government authorities.

The Tasmanian government has now come out and done what, in the political circumstances, is the closest thing a state Labor government has done thus far to oppose the centralist plan: express serious reservations about installing Canberra in every town hall, and announce it will at least not campaign in support of the idea.

During recent exchanges between the government and opposition in the Tasmanian parliament, Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister, Bryan Green said:

I think the Premier has already indicated that we are not providing any assistance.  The Tasmanian Government has given careful consideration of the proposed amendment to section 96 that would see local government given financial recognition in the Australian Constitution.  Early in the consultation process we raised a number of concerns relating to the proposed amendments with the commonwealth and the Tasmanian government believes it is up to the community to have their say on the merit of the proposal on 14 September 2013 when the federal election is on.  We have made it pretty clear that we have some reservations about this matter passing, but we have made a decision not to campaign actively one way or the other.

The full parliamentary exchange, referring to the Tasmanian government position, can be found here.

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