I am told that we have had two referenda to enshrine Local Government in our Constitution, both of which have failed. Does anyone know if this is true, and if so, how does our system of Local Government work, and under which Act of Parliament?
I can't speak for any other State, but the Queensland Constitution Act 1867 - the first one - in Section 54 said:
System of local government
54.(1) There must be and continue to be a system of local government in
Queensland under which duly elected local government bodies are
constituted, each being charged with the good rule and government of that
part of Queensland from time to time subject to that system of local
government and committed to the jurisdiction of that local government
(2) The manner in which local government bodies are constituted and the
nature and extent of their powers, authorities, duties and functions are as
determined by and in accordance with the laws of the Parliament.
The Constitution of Queensland Act 2001 took that provision out of the Constitution Act 1867 and replaced it with this (a referendum was not required to remove Section 54 from the Constitution Act 1867 and a referendum is not required to remove it from the Constitution of Queensland Act 2001):
70 System of local government
(1) There must be a system of local government in Queensland.
(2) The system consists of a number of local governments.
So since at least 1867 in Queensland, there has been the legislative power to create local governments, and parliament has enacted laws since that set out that power - Local Government Act.
I understand the referendum in 1999 was to remove the control of local governments from the States and Territories and place them under the Commonwealth. Didn't happen.
Local governments are lawful if the respective State constitutions require them.
Dallas - read my reply to Colin. That is the truth. Not what Sue Maynes has put on her website. Local governments are lawful. The referendum was not about making them lawful, but about bringing them under the Commonwealth control. The people of Australia rejected that, obviously preferring them to remain under State control.
Please read the actual Acts for yourself. Don't rely on what other people tell you they say.
This is the link to the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel Website where you will find the Constitution Acts.
If you click on the little printed page icon in the far right column you will find a table with the previous versions of each of the Acts. The very first Queensland Constitution Act 1867 is there in that table.
The reason Queensland has so many Constitution Acts is because each of them has a section or sections that can't be removed from them without a referendum. Therefore those particular sections are continued, and the Constitution of Queensland Act 2001 particularly references them in full.
Yes Colin we have had two referenda on local Government 18 May 1974 and 3rd september 1988 both not carried
The States had local Government in there powers before Federation, so this continues as the State legislation remains unless the commenwealth legislation overides. Look up chapter v 106 107 of Commonwealth Constitution.