Ballina Shire Council's monthly meeting will be held today.
Ballina Shire Council's monthly meeting will be held today.

Ballina against donation

A CAMPAIGN to have local government recognised in the constitution has been slammed as a waste of ratepayers' money by a number of Ballina Shire councillors.

The council was asked to contribute almost $19,000 for a campaign being run by the Local Gov- ernment and Shires Association for the constitutional recognition of local government.

A referendum on the issue will be held in conjunction with next year's Federal election.

The referendum was proposed after an expert panel established by the Federal Government recommended it.

The LGSA says a national advertising campaign in support of the change will cost about $10 million.

Ballina council, at a recent finance committee meeting, voted against making a contribution.

Cr Peter Moore said it was a "waste of money".

"At this point in time, it's ridiculous," he said.

Cr Keith Johnson said he could think of better ways to spend ratepayers' money and that councils should not be asked to get involved with a "political question".

"This is bordering on the misuse of public funds," he said.

Other North Coast councils have also been asked to contribute funds to the campaign.

Kyogle Shire Council will contribute about $14,000 and Richmond Valley about $18,000.

A spokeswoman for the Lismore City Council said the council supports the constitutional recognition of local government in principle and will consider a request to contribute about $23,000 when the council prepares its budget for next year.

A spokesman for the Byron Shire Council said the council would contribute just over $17,000.



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