Referendum must be re-visited: Mayor

07 August 2013

AlburyCity has expressed its disappointment that the referendum regarding the Constitutional Recognition of Local Government will not proceed.

The referendum had originally been planned to coincide with the Federal election on 14 September. But with the announcement of a 7 September election there are not enough legislative days to allow the referendum to go ahead on an earlier date.

Mayor Alice Glachan said that although it was disappointing, it was important that the new Government revisit the referendum during its upcoming term.

“We’re disappointed that the referendum won’t be going ahead as planned. This is an important vote that would secure vital funds for community projects and is already long overdue.”

“This referendum has widespread support from both sides of parliament as well as Councils around Australia. Our hope was that the referendum would proceed with the Federal election but the change of date means that is not possible. It is important that the referendum be re-visited in the next term to allow Australians to have their say on this important issue.”

“AlburyCity has agreed to support the national campaign and recognises that a ‘yes’ vote is vital to the funding of many projects in our community.”

“As it stands the direct Federal funding of local government is at risk and could be challenged in court. The constitutional recognition of local government is a small but important change to our constitution that would secure the Federal funds we rely on.”

“We’ll await further advice from the Australian Local Government Association about the next steps for the referendum.”

AlburyCity has received $8.5M in Federal funding since 2007-08, and has been used for various projects including:

  • Graffiti Hotspot funding: $57,000
  • Thurgoona Netball Courts: $140,000
  • Wagirra Trial Project: $250,000
  • Oddies Creek Playground: $408,000
  • Albury Railway Precinct: $462,000
  • Albury Art Gallery redevelopment: $3.5M
  • Flying Fruit Fly Circus upgrades: $3.7M