Friday, 24 May 2013

More Money for Councils or More Power for Canberra?

Vote No to the referendum

More Money for Councils or More Power for Canberra?

Has Canberra produced an atmosphere of trust, integrity, respect for the people & democratic values that would justify conceding them further power?

A paper by Graham Williamson May 2013 

The Bulk of Graham's paper can be found at THIS LINK.

Below are Graham's conclusions:

Commonwealth governments, whether Labor or Liberal, are extremely selective about the referendum issues they endorse. They never endorse referendums which would increase political accountability or strengthen state or national sovereignty. This referendum is no different.

Government has been advised that if they wish to obtain the support of the people for a ‘yes’ vote then they must make the people THINK that a ‘no’ vote would mean reduced council funds for things like child care and libraries. The task then is to convince the people of this rather than tell them the truth about the issues surrounding the referendum. In reality however, the evidence cited above clearly reveals the government has been unable to substantiate their claim that the only way of ensuring the continued financial viability of councils is to change the Constitution as proposed in the referendum. 

The reasons for this are twofold.

  1. The government has failed to demonstrate that current funding arrangements, where the Commonwealth funds councils via the states, is no longer adequate.
  2. The government has completely failed to mention the fact that the current political environment which is allegedly bankrupting councils is a result of a 20 year drive by the Commonwealth and by the United Nations, to compel councils to divert funds from traditional council services such as local services and infrastructure, libraries and childcare, to the implementation of undemocratic United Nations global programs such as Agenda 21. Until the Commonwealth, and the ALGA, clearly state the final cost of implementation of these UN global programs, any suggestion of amending the Constitution to permit increased Commonwealth funding is not only completely inappropriate, it is an abandonment of democracy and the Australian people.

The Commonwealth government, with assistance from the States, has burdened councils with an extraordinary collection of exceedingly wasteful unproductive undemocratic UN driven initiatives and now they want the people to approve and perpetuate this by handing even more power to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has completely failed to justify and quantify this undemocratic diverting of public funds from essential local services to implementation of UN global programs.
The Commonwealth has provided no convincing arguments whatsoever which would justify the proposed constitutional changes.

Furthermore, concerns by many that this referendum is just another anti-State power grab have not been addressed by supporters of the referendum ‘yes’ case.

Since the Commonwealth claims they merely wish to ensure continuation of council funding and they are not interested in exercising power over councils by controlling such funding, why then have they chosen not to simultaneously endorse constitutional safeguards to prevent such an abuse of power? Since such a move would allay the fears of many who are concerned about a power grab by Canberra, the government’s refusal to include such a reform reinforces the arguments of those who see the referendum as an attack on State sovereignty.

What we need first and foremost are positive changes to the Constitution to prevent interference from foreign agencies, protect freedom and democracy, and increase political accountability.

Until the Commonwealth can justify and supply full costs for the UN Agenda 21 program, and until sufficient safeguards, empowering the people and safeguarding sovereignty, are inserted in the constitution, the proposed referendum should be rejected.

Councils deserve the support of the people, not exploitation by the UN and the Commonwealth for their own introspective ideological purposes.


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