MIX-UP: Local government does not exist in the Australian Constitution, says one reader.
MIX-UP: Local government does not exist in the Australian Constitution, says one reader. Bev Lacey

In a bit of a muddle over Australian Constitution

IN HIS recent letter (QT 20/8), Bob Fowke wrote: "Unless I am mistaken, we, the Australian people, are the true government and "governors" of the great Aussie country."

Unfortunately, Mr Fowle is mistaken. The Australian Constitution is quite unequivocal. In Section 1, it says: "The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives..."

The legislative power is the power to make laws. Contrary to his belief, Section 128 controlling alterations to the Constitution is the only instance of a referendum in the document.

I fear that Mr Fowles has got hold of the wrong Constitution. The US Constitution does start with the words "We the People of the United States..." and contains Amendment 10 which provides "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" but there is no provision for any referenda.

In Mr Fowles' long service as a council officer, it seems to have escaped his notice that local government does not exist in the Australian Constitution.

It is part of state governments. Chapter 7 of the Queensland Constitution provides for local government in Queensland.

KEN ALDERTON

One Mile


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