Regular readers will recall that I am on the hotline from our government members and they are always seeking my support for the important changes that they wish to make for the betterment of our country:
Labor people have always been champions for local community services.
Roads and footpaths. Parks and gardens. Sports clubs and community centres. Childcare. Help for seniors. Festivals and events. Community gardens.
For more than 40 years, federal governments have given funding to local councils to ensure our communities have these vital services.
Despite this, our most important document – the Australian Constitution – doesn’t recognise this.
That’s why I’ve just made an important announcement with the Prime Minister that on September 14 we are planning to hold a referendum on recognition of local government in our Constitution.
We need to add a few words so that federal governments can keep supporting vital services. It’s a small but important change.
This isn’t about politics. This change to our Constitution has the support of all the major parties – at this stage, even Tony Abbott.
Our challenge is to make sure our local communities know if they want to say “yes” to local services, they need to say “yes” to changing the Constitution.
Of course there have been two previous (failed) attempts to make this sort of change to the constitution and both have been soundly defeated. I totally understand why Albo is seeking an endorsement from yours truly, he must realise that without my support that this referendum question has about as much hope as his beloved Julia has of winning another term in the lodge. That said I wonder just how necessary such a change to our constitution is. After all our cities and towns have got along quite well without it up until now so is the status quo broken enough to require this change?