Poll shows 65% support for recognition of local government
A REFERENDUM to deliver direct Commonwealth funding to local councils around the country has enough support to succeed, according to an Australian Financial Review-Neilsen poll.
The poll showed 65% of respondents said they would vote for Constitutional recognition of local government.
While the vote would need a majority of people in a majority of state to succeed, it also appears a successful referendum has enough support to succeed at that level as well.
Poll results show 70% of respondents in Queensland will vote yes, as would 23% of New South Wales residents, 62% of Victorians, 65% of South Australians and Northern Territorians and 69% of West Australians.
Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the poll results, saying they reflected the bipartisan support the referendum had at a federal level.
He said it was about "recognising modern reality" of the existing funding arrangements between the top and bottom tiers of government in Australia.
While the Coalition has pledged support for the referendum, some conservative members have expressed reservations about funding being directed only to supporting a "yes" case, and not both potential outcomes.
Opposition senators voiced their concerns in parliament last week that a bill to allow the referendum would remove the need for a balanced campaign about the referendum.
More than $50 million was allocated in last week's Federal Dudget to run and promote the campaign, including $11 million in advertising costs.