March In May: More Evidence that The Time is Right for a New Constitution for Australia

Lack of democracy - the community is being ignored

http://www.pinterest.com/bloggerme3/the-constitution/

People are getting fed up with our lack of democracy particularly when concerns of the community are ignored whilst decisions are made in favour of remote ‘investors’ – at the expense of everyday Australians.

The voices against this system are growing. One of the organisers of the March in May, held in major Australian cities over the weekend is quoted in the Guardian as saying:

“These marches signify major concern with current government policies, dissatisfaction with a stagnant two-party political system, and the disturbing motivations and influence of those with money and power.”

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/418553359092532871/

https://twitter.com/RedJules4

https://twitter.com/RedJules4/status/467904145781846017/photo/1

Such voices are added to those of Northern Rivers residents as they fight outside influences who seek to destroy their environment.   According to Yahoo/Seven News:

“Thousands of community members and more than 800 police officers, including the riot squad were expected to face off at the drilling site known as the Bentley blockade.”

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/418553359092532870/

TO PLAY http://www.youtube.com/embed/u1sF0wPQqTM?list=UUzgKACAGCAmWjIEUQYwOBzg%22

Fortunately the Northern Rivers residents and supporters were given a (temporary?) reprieve when:

“NSW Energy Minister, Anthony Roberts, suspended Metgasco's right to drill an exploration well at Bentley in the state's north.” (source: Yahoo/Seven)

Lack of democracy - what can we do about it?

We really need to fix our democracy in a fundamental way – the patch ups that have been applied over the past century not only failed to deal with the problems of their own time, but have led to an urgent need to really address the underlying problems now.  False systems of justice, that lead to outcomes like the Mabo decision, and which seek to preserve the unpreservable, must come to end, as must shenanigans around made up Queens of Australia which replace British Parliaments as an active part of the Crown as in the Queen-in-Parliament. This claimed change to our constitution was done without the approval of the Australian people via referendum as required. This is discussed in a paper by Michael Manetta available from the Samuel Griffith Society.  These are just some problems. There are many others.

Regardless, the fact is that our constitution no longer provides us with democracy as promised (in the Australian Constitution the People are held as sovereign – not politicians, political parties and corporations - see here).  And something needs to be done about it. It is not only communities that are not being respected, but individuals also. And it is not just at Federal, or State levels, but also at local council level.

Questions to the local council

Below are some questions posed by Peter Olney to his local council as part of an ongoing dispute around council rates and the ability to threaten the forced sale of a ratepayer's property to pay outstanding rates.  These questions bear consideration by all of us (and at least those of us in Victoria), and if they cannot be answered then perhaps – as Peter suggests – it is a failure of our education system that we – and our government officials –cannot adequately answers questions concerning our most basic rights as Australians (or in Peter’s case, as Victorians).

Peter Olney’s questions (also available on the RealAussieNews.com) are as follows in three (3) sets: 1. Function of Council (In Victoria), 2. Council Law Issues, and 3. Council Accounts and Money Issues:

1/ Re: Function of Council.

If I, the sentient being, assume with you there is legitimacy to the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) [State Constitution], and to PART IIA, then I would expect you all to act in good sound management pursuant to the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) [LGA], S 3E. 

You would be aware that there is confusion about some “local government” matters in the State. It is therefore my concern that you help to clear up some of that confusion by responding to my letter with clarity and purpose. I will appreciate your efforts.

Please provide answers to the following very important questions:

  1. Since rates are a tax, then how can the Council – a body corporate - properly exercise within the law pursuant to the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic), at S 62? 
  2. Since the Council is NOT the House of Assembly, nor is it a “government” in accord with the Westminster system of government operating in Australia, then how can it raise revenue as a general tax with disregard for the Constitution?
  3. Since the Council is required to respect the law, and its interpretation by the High Court of Australia from time to time, has Council considered the determination in Pape V Commissioner of Taxation [2009] HCA 23 (7 July 2009), at 55 – 60?

[NOTE: This determination outlines three principles on which government must stand, these being that Parliament must pass law to raise a tax, the funds collected must go into a Consolidated Revenue Fund, and that Bills of Appropriation must be passed by Parliament in order to spend the money (tax) raised]

  1. Since (as outlined above) it is held that the Westminster system of government (as exercised in Australia) holds three specific principles to the operation of any such “government”, do local municipal councils meet those three principles?
  2. Given that the Council is therefore NOT a “government”, then on what grounds is the Council acting to raise revenue legitimately as a body corporate?
  3. Has the Council considered that the lawful way to act is to provide services for a fee (or fair price) to those who want that service as one part to the picture?
  4. Has the Council required the State government to provide to it ALL funds/money required for PUBLIC services, for general public purposes, and if not, why not?
  5. Has the Council sought to arrive at a reasonable setting with the property owners in the municipality to enable street maintenance, paths, drains, lighting and/or the maintenance of public parks and civic buildings in a public/private arrangement to serve all?  Ie., Property owners share according to their use/exposure to these in order that the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic), at S 3C (f), is respected in that  Council must “ensure the equitable imposition of rates and charges”.
  6. Has the Council considered whether it is correct to impose upon property owners and/or others to spend beyond the annual budget cash flow without a referendum of the people to obtain agreement for major long-term capital expenditure/s or the retention of surpluses?
  7. Is the Council aware that to retain “excess revenue” from one financial year into the next year is not lawful?
  8. Has the Council considered that any under expenditure in a set class of work can only be carried forward into work of the same class, with NO surplus funds being made available for “discretionary use” at a future date?
  9. Has the Council considered the other sources of (money) supply available to it? Eg.,     1/ Payments from the State fund – the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

2/ Fines and penalties lawfully applied.

3/ Licence fees, and ..

4/ Fee/s for service.    And, that Council is limited to these sources?

Part of what is being developed with Councillors in the above is the need to have Council clearly identify the correct source of money supply for each group of activity managed in the public interest. Also, the issue of acting by the Rule of Law is very much on the table.

For many Councillors these questions raise issues that have not been considered by them before. None-the-less, that does not take away the responsibility of the Councillors, as “the Council”, along with the CEO, to manage municipal affairs according to the law.

Council law issues

If I, the sentient being, assume with you there is legitimacy to the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) [State Constitution], and to PART IIA, then I would expect you all to act in good sound management pursuant to the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) [LGA], S 3E. 

I therefore trust this is a suitable start point for our elected councillors, written up as “the Council”, pursuant to Section 3B of the latter Act.

You would be aware that there is confusion about some “local government” matters in the State. It is therefore my concern that you help to clear up some of that confusion by responding to my letter with clarity and purpose. I will appreciate your efforts.

Please provide answers to the following very important questions:

  1. Was the State Constitution provided for use after a referendum of the people in Victoria in order to move from the Imperial (colonial) Constitution of 1855?
  2. Can State Parliament enact statute for a Constitution without a referendum?
  3. Has the colonial (now State) Constitution of 1855 been formally repealed by the United Kingdom Parliament? [It is UK law over which Victoria has no control]
  4. Is the signification of the UK Monarch (through the UK Parliament?) established on the State Constitution ?  [This is requirement of the colonial law for the State]
  5. Given the State Constitution was presented as consolidation of the earlier Imperial 

(colonial) Constitution with its amendments over time, how can “PART II Local Government” be added when it is NOT a consolidation matter to develop a third tier of government?  [It is a more recent endeavour to make local councils another “level of government”. This has not been approved at referendum]

  1. Since the State Constitution is actually “subject to” the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, at S 106, then WHY was no referendum held to establish State statute for our State Constitution when the Parliament had no head of power to enact a Constitution in its own standing?
  2. How can the State Constitution [at S 74A (1)] now show that (Quote) “Local Government is a distinct and essential tier of government ..” (End of quote) when there was a referendum of the Australian people (in 1988) refusing “the continuance of local government” in any Commonwealth Constitution - under which the State sits?
  3. Appreciating the High Court of Australia determination in Pape V Commissioner of Taxation [2009] HCA 23 (7 July 2009), at 55 – 60 held that the Westminster system of government (as exercised in Australia) holds three specific principles to the operation of such a “government” do local councils meet those principles?

[NOTE: You will find that councils do not exhibit ANY of these principles, and they therefore cannot be held to be another “form of government” per se.]

Having provided the series of questions above I believe you will find the answers lead you to have to ponder the next series of questions.  Please answer the following:

  1. Given there is NO (Commonwealth) Constitutional standing for municipal councils as “local government”, then, on what basis might councils act as a “local government” when they do not meet Westminster standards for true government either?
  2. Given there has been NO signification of the UK Monarch to repeal the old colonial (now State) Constitution, then, on what grounds do councils stand to hold the State Constitution as a valid enactment today?
  3. Given there has been NO referendum of the people of the State to a new Constitution, then, how can the councils hold their standing as legitimate “government” pursuant to that “law” when the people have not voted to cause the Constitution to be lawful? [In 1988 the people rejected municipal councils “as another tier of government” under the Constitution - to which the State is subject pursuant to the Rule of Law]
  4. Can the imposition of rates (as a general tax) corelate to requirements at S 62 in the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic)?  [That prevents a council imposing any tax since any rate/tax must originate in the House of Assembly]
  5. What can councils charge legitimately?  [Try .. an agreed service for a price]
  6. Given the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) causes municipal councils to be understood as a body corporate in law, then, is the CEO the head manager?
  7. If Councillors are “the Council”, then how does that fit with the head CEO?
  8. And, who are the members of the council body corporate if written consent to be a member of that entity has not been provided by any of the local people?
  9. And, if the council extends itself financially, is the liability shared in some way with the (undefined) “members” of the body corporate, and if so how?

I trust these basic questions cause you to come to realise “all is not rosy in the garden”, and, to become aware the “myths and facts” sheet issued by Local Government Victoria  recently has a small amount of truth, mixed with an awful lot of untruths.

If you have any questions, then you are invited to connect with Ratepayers Victoria Inc.,

since the group is working towards everyone appreciating what is right and lawful in our expression of “government” across Australia.

Councillors, the present “system of government” in Australia has huge hiatus in a range of areas and you are asked to develop a better working knowledge in order to be adequate in your advocacy to “higher levels of government” on behalf of the people you represent.

Council accounts  … and money issues

If I, the sentient being, assume with you there is legitimacy to the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) [State Constitution], and to PART IIA, then I would expect you all to act in good sound management pursuant to the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) [LGA], S 3E. 

I therefore trust this is a suitable start point for our elected councillors, written up as “the Council”, pursuant to Section 3B of the latter Act.

You would be aware that there is confusion about some “local government” matters in the State. It is therefore my concern that you help to clear up some of that confusion by responding to my letter with clarity and purpose. I will appreciate your efforts.

Please provide answers to the following very important questions:

  1. Council maintains that roads, drains and land improvements are municipal assets. Since Council is a creation of State statute, does that mean the roads and other assets are in fact owned by the State? [Although they show as a council asset!]
  2. Council holds its own accounts as the result of proceeds of Council rates and charges, with its own annual reports and banking arrangements. Does that mean the money holdings of the Council – a body corporate - belong to the members of the local community, OR, does it mean those funds are the property of the State?
  3. Given the Council is a creation of the State – as a department of the State under the oversight of the Minister for Local Government – then, given Council IS able to strike its own level of “rates” in the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) [LGA] environment , then what is to prevent Councils from setting their own level of rates (as taxation) outside of State Parliament intentions and creating their own (huge uncontrolled!) kingdom - at the expense of the State? [No ceiling on rates!]
  4. If a Council has a serious deficit in its funding, then how do the property owners in a municipality become involved in “administration” and debt recovery matters?
  5. Is there a connection to property owners which permits the Council (or the State administrator/s) to claim there is a liability against properties in the municipality in some way?  If so, what is that connection?
  6. In the context of debt recovery is my house/land going to be sold under me one day by “the powers that be”?  Ie., If property owners are automatically involved with liability in Council debt, then, to what extent is their exposure?
  7. Since Council operates with separate asset records and with separate accounts to that of the State, then are the proceeds of the Council rates and charges subject to  Section 114 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp)?
  8. Is the Council taxing the rack-rent, the entitlement to rack-rent, the entitlement to land, or the entitlement to let the land – thus deeming a possible income?

NOTE: In this matter reference is made to the Local Government Act1989 (Vic) [LGA], at S 3, where the definition outlines the “owner” means the person who is entitled to receive the rack-rent for the land OR who, if the land were let at rack-rent, would be entitled to receive the rent.

  1. Does Council admit that by the words “if the land were let” (in the definition) an arbitary tax results from an arbitrary liability because a sentient being can not be in any liability pursuant to S 156 (1) of the LGA for an income from the land that does not exist since the idea is “if the land were let”?  Ie., No rental or production income has occurred to cause a tax to be raised against the “income/profit”.
  2. Does Council admit to the “rack-rent” from any land in fact as a “market rental”, and therefore, a possible “income” from the land?
  3. Has the Council identified a taxation item to which it is permitted to tax the land? If so, then what is that Australian Taxation Office item, and, how does that work?

Whilst some of these are technical financial questions I am none-the-less concerned since it appears to me that here is most serious lack of clarity through the LGA. Also, there is  apparent lack of integrity in the connection the LGA has with other enactments which we generally call State law.

Category: 

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.