Committee calls for submissions on local government

THE parliamentary committee charged with determining whether a referendum to have local government recognised in the Constitution has wasted no time in calling for submissions.

Labor MP Michelle Rowland will chair the joint select committee, which was appointed by the parliament this week.

The committee met for the first time on Thursday and immediately decided to call for submissions.

It is made up of government and opposition MPs, as well as Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and independent MP Tony Windsor.

Kirsten Livermore, who this week announced she would not be recontesting the seat of Capricornia at the next election, is also on the 12-member committee.

The formation of the committee follows the findings of an independent expert panel into the issue.

"This inquiry builds on the extensive consultation conducted by the expert panel. Our task is to establish the likelihood of success of a referendum on financial recognition of local government," Ms Rowland said.

The expert panel's preferred amendment would be to Section 96 of the Constitution.

"The committee is keen to hear from stakeholders on the proposed amendment, and especially its wording. We welcome submissions on the amendment, as well as other issues related to the expert panel's proposal.

"The appointment of this committee is a sign that the parliament is concerned to progress this issue in a way that would provide any referendum with the best chance of success. The committee will be meeting with state governments and local government representatives to assess the best way forward."

All submissions made to the expert panel are available to the committee and will be considered as part of the inquiry.



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