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2013 National General Assembly of Local Government

Article image - 2013 National General Assembly of Local Government Senator Barnaby Joyce - Shadow Minister for Local Government Senator Joyce warned those present at the Assembly there was little time left to act to argue the ‘Yes’ case for constitutional recognition.

The Senator highlighted the importance of Federal financial support for Local Government through programs such as Roads to Recovery.

“Roads to Recovery, black spots, local government stimulus spending and in fact over 200 streams of funding to local communities. All of this Federal spending is so crucial for regional areas.

“But the funding of local councils by the Federal Government to invest in roads and other infrastructure has been compromised by recent high profile legal cases.

“That is why we need a referendum to change our Constitution and recognise local governments in that Constitution.”

Senator Joyce said the referendum was ‘looking like a difficult task’, and accused the Labor government of unfairly allocating funding with the allocation of $10 million to the yes case and $500,000 to the no case.

“It is almost as if the Labor party are willing the Coalition to vote against this injustice to create a political wedge.”

Senator Joyce said the Coalition would continue to support Local Government, pledging to take the Roads to Recovery Program further by introducing a new Bridges Renewal Program.

“This will help local councils to repair and upgrade 30,000 small bridges around the country – an essential part of our local roads networks.

“These programs work because they maximise the ability of those on the ground to influence how money is spent on the highest priorities in local communities.

“The government closest to the people is best for the people.”