I warmly welcome the Prime Minister's announcement that a crucial referendum to secure funding for local government will be held simultaneously with the 14 September Federal election.
This referendum is essential to ensure that the Commonwealth Parliament has the power to provide direct financial assistance to local government.
The Federal Government collects more than 80% of all tax revenue in Australia.
It's essential that Local Government continues to receive a share of this revenue to provide essential local infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, childcare centres, libraries, pools, parks and open space as well as services and programs for local communities.
The amendment to the constitution is vital to remove uncertainty surrounding direct Commonwealth funding after two recent High Court decisions - Pape v Commissioner of Taxation 2009 and Williams v Commonwealth, 2012.
While these cases were not directly related to local government, it may only be a matter of time before direct Federal financial assistance is challenged in the High Court.
This referendum is about a necessary but non-contentious change.
I call on all Australians to vote in support of their local communities and say "yes" on 14 September 2013.