Election could include local government question

AS VOTERS head to the polls in September this year, who forms the next Federal Government might not be the only choice they will have to make.

Australians are also likely to be asked whether local councils should be formally recognised in the Australian constitution.

While an official announcement has not been made, the Australian Local Government Association has created a formal national campaign committee to lobby for a winning "yes" vote.

In a regular column to local councils al over the country, ALGA president, South Australian Mayor Felicity-Ann Lewis announced the new campaign.

Her column also comes after a joint parliamentary committee informally recommended in January that the vote be held on the same day as the federal election.

While the ALGA had previously warned the vote could be overshadowed by the election, it was now actively working towards making it happen.

Mayor Lewis wrote the association has already started working on the "structure necessary to support the campaign".

She also wrote that the campaign would need an investment from the federal government to fund public advertising to help inform the public about what constitutional recognition of local government would mean.

"ALGA and its state associations have committed to provide millions of dollars to campaign for the referendum and it is vital that public funding is also made available," Mayor Lewis wrote.

"We look forward to a government announcement on the referendum in the coming weeks."

And while Local Government Minister Simon Crean has not yet given the go-ahead for the vote, he has been publicly supportive of the vote to be held on September 14.



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