Committee suggests holding local govt vote on election day

A REFERENDUM on the constitutional recognition of local government should be held on the same day as the September 14 Federal Election, a parliamentary committee has recommended.

But the committee's single recommendation did not include that the Federal Government provide funds for a national education campaign about the effects such a referendum posed.

Such funding was recommended by the peak body of local councils, Australian Local Government Association, as part of its submission to the government.

The committee's report said the prospects of success of the referendum would rely on the "strong commitment and campaigning by ALGA and its member bodies", and greatly improved by the support of state governments.

But despite Commonwealth funding dedicated to educating the public about the proposal being a precondition of success, it was not recommended by the committee.

A dissenting report by Coalition members also highlighted ALGA concerns that the referendum could be jeopardised by the federal election publicity campaign.

The committee's report did note, however, that a national civics education would help the prospect of success for the referendum, despite it not being included in the final recommendations.

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