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Why local government should not be recognised in the Constitution

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Mitchell, David
  • Journal Name: Quadrant
  • Journal Number: Vol.56, No.4
  • Country: Australia
In the present campaign to change the Constitution, the proponents have adopted a catchcry proclaiming that local government is the “third tier (or level) of government”. However, I want to demonstrate that in our system local government is not a “tier (or level) of government” at all. It is a means used by the state governments for exercising aspects of their own administrative governmental functions. Local government itself is created and maintained by state government legislation, the geographic extent of local government districts is determined by the state governments, the powers of councils are determined by and conferred by state governments, the authority to make regulations is delegated and supervised by the state governments, and the establishment of new councils and amalgamation of existing councils are matters for the state governments.

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