Tuesday 4 September 2007

Ditch State Government

Rosanne Barrett reports in the Courier Mail says that councils and shires have called for a review of all levels of government, labelling the current three-tier system "outmoded and dysfunctional".

Val Schier has previously suggested that this is the next obvious move following the State-wide council amalgamations. "I think we need to look at the level of governmnet we have and State Government should be questioned," she said.

It's long overdue to seriously consider the removal of the State level of government. It will bring government closer to the people, and save probably billions of taxpayer dollars.

The Headless Horseman says this is common sense from otherwise self-interested future ex-mayors and -councillors.

HH says "as the world gets smaller there is less need for the overabundance of councillors in Australia. The government of the future will be a federal government working with bigger and strong councils which may be seen as mini-states.

John Howard has inadvertently paved the way for the new federalism, no doubt spurred on by Kevin Rudd's strong stand on ending duplication, funding arguments and the blame game between the feds and the states. Queensland's local governments will be stronger because
(i) they represent more communities and greater populations,
(ii) planning will be improved because it will be done on a regional basis rather than on shortsighted local bases as at present,
(iii) they will have a more united front when arguing the toss with govts,
(iv) voters will be more serious about who they vote for and;
(v) areas with strong economies will help neighbouring areas that aren't as strong.

The scrapping of states may be a long way off, but it is a desirable development when the time comes. I am very excited about the future of Queensland with the amalgamations, Townsville, Bowen/Whitsunday, Cairns/Douglas, Tablelands and western Queensland have very exciting futures.

I hope they elect forward-thinking mayors and councillors because they will play a much bigger role in our state's future.

Queensland councils have voted for an independent review that the Federal Government will co-ordinate.

It will investigate duplication of services, regional planning and an equitable local tax system.

The motion was moved at last week's Local Government Association of Queensland conference and passed 157 to 125. You know, that was the conference that Jim Chapman and Kevin Byrne had big cuddles at.

Mike Berwick said that the review is overdue, and the moves over recent months were appalling way to bring in this change. "We must have this debate" he said.

However, Kevin Byrne said councils would "cut off their nose to spite their face" with an additional review. "sounds great, it sounds really warm and fuzzy but it's more like vengeance," he told the Courier Mail.

Labor has said it will hold a national referendum to seek the inclusion of councils in the Constitution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just a little injection of reality here... there will be no dissolution of the states as long as I'm remembered...new federalism aside, you have to understand the history of federation...it only happened after the eventual agreement of the states... there was a devolution of logically centrist powers to the new Commonwealth while maintaining the State's individual identities and influences. There is as much chance of an ant impregnating a wooly mammoth as there is for the states to devolve totally; as much as it is anethema to all of you power rationalists out there, there is a failure to understand the emotional baggage of our system.
sorry, guys... better spending your intellectual capital on efficiencies of scale... leave the States alone... by all means trade off on those efficiencies... cut the largesse; give more reponsibility to regional councils, but give the States their due...without them we as a nation wouldn't have evolved the way we have...