The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called on the Federal Government to establish a Parliamentary Committee to progress the process towards local government recognition in the Constitution.


"ALGA has long maintained that the only way to protect direct federal funding for community services and infrastructure is to have local government recognised in the Australian Constitution and we are keen to work with the Commonwealth on putting in place the conditions for a successful referendum," ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis said.


The calls come after Minister for Local Government, Simon Crean, told Mayor Lewis that the Government would consider establishing a Parliamentary Committee based on a proposal put forward by the ALGA Board.


"I have written to each political party, including the Independents, asking them to support ALGA’s proposed way forward on constitutional recognition of local government, including a Parliamentary Committee" Mayor Lewis said.


ALGA is seeking an amendment of Section 96 of the Constitution so that it would read: "Parliament may grant financial assistance to any state or local government body formed by or under a law of a state or territory on such terms and conditions as the Parliament sees fit."


"As part of our proposal, we are also seeking a federally funded community awareness program that educates the public regarding the Constitution, constitutional change and the local government question," Mayor Lewis said.