Below is a press release concerning the Federal Governments white paper on Federation.
The President of the Australian Local Government Association, Mayor Troy Pickard, has called on all tiers of government and all sides of politics to keep an open mind on options canvassed during the Reform of Federation White Paper process, following the release of a Discussion Paper by Government today.
“A mature conversation is needed about this potential reform and the options presented around areas of responsibility and funding and now is not the time to rule out ideas,” Mayor Pickard said.
“The Reform of Federation and Taxation White Paper processes are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to look at serious reform which will improve the operation of the Federation and deliver better services to Australians.
“The Green Paper itself will be a chance for the community to provide input and have its say, and we need a full range of reform options on the table for the community to adequately participate in this important process.”
Mayor Pickard also highlighted the need to ensure local government was addressed as part of the reform process.
“I’m concerned that the Discussion Paper is for the most part silent on local government, and this is troubling because the outcomes of the reform process through the Federation White Paper must also address how the needs of communities at the local level can be better met.
“The Discussion Paper focuses on the three big areas of inter-governmental concern which are health, education and housing/homelessness. There are clearly major reform opportunities in these areas but local government, and the delivery of a sufficient level of services and infrastructure to local communities, is also important.
“There is a need to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of local government in meeting the needs of local communities are matched by access to adequate revenue and this critical issue needs to be considered as part of the Green Paper.”