YOUR correspondent Benjamin Garrett questions the legality of local councils anywhere in Australia.
He does so on the grounds that the Australian Constitution does not recognise local government.
That is because local government is a state matter.
The particulars in each state differ but, if we look at Victoria we find that Section 2A of the Constitution Act 1975, an Act of the Victorian Parliament, gives the parliament the powers to implement local councils.
That power gives councils legal existence.
The High Court of Australia decision in the case of Pape v the Commissioner of Taxation leads to the conclusion that the Commonwealth has no Constitutional power to directly fund local government bodies or activities.
Previous High Court cases had not clearly stated that, but the case cited reveals the need to give the Commonwealth the power to directly fund roads and so on.
This highlights one flaw in the Australian Constitution, and one which we, the citizens of Australia have it in our power to rectify.
We should vote yes at the referendum.