The referendum will held be on the same day as the coming Federal Election and if successful, would result in a change in the Constitution to include local government.
Former Federal Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese announced the funding would be available to the Australian Local Government Association to promote a yes vote for the referendum.
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said that constitutional recognition of local government is in the best interest of the community, as it would secure funding for critical community programs and services, made possible only through Federal funding.
‘Federal funding, has become a valuable source of revenue for local government to deliver vital community services and programs, facilities and asset management, infrastructure planning and maintenance, as well as strategic town planning,’ he said.
‘Without Federal funding, many of these services simply would not exist.’
Mr Aubrey said that without the inclusion of local government in the Constitution, the High Court could challenge the receipt of, and withdraw future Federal funding, at any given time.
Australian Monarchists League national chair Philip Benwell criticised a comparatively small pledge of $500,000 to promote the no vote.
‘It is an absolute disgrace that an Australian government will act in such an authoritarian manner, both in rushing through important constitutional change without giving the people time to absorb the potential implications thereof, and now in allocating taxpayer monies in such an inequitable fashion,’ he said.
Mr Albanese said the funding was allocated based on the support for the referendum by the Federal Members of Parliament, who voted 134 to 2 in favour of changing the Constitution to recognise local government.