The federal government is providing an extra $10.5 million in taxpayer money to educate taxpayers about the merit of the government’s plan to reduce the independence of local governments, in the guise of recognising them in the constitution.
This is on top of the $11.6 million in federal money for a ‘national civics education campaign’ outlined in the budget to educate the public about the referendum.
Taking into account contributions from local governments, Australian taxpayers are coughing up north of $30 million to educate themselves about this referendum.
While the total expenditure is a problem, there is a more fundamental issue here – namely that most of this money is going towards the ‘yes’ campaign, and very little is going towards the ‘no’ campaign.
The inequity in the funding for respective campaigns is the height of absurdity: one estimate put the funding for the ‘yes’ campaign at 65 times that of the ‘no’ campaign.
Of the $10.5 million going towards ‘educating’ the public in the recent accouncement, $10 million is going towards the ‘yes’ campaign and $0.5 million is going towards the ‘no’ campaign.
Apparently the funding allocations are dubiously based on parliamentary support:
Mr Albanese has used a proportional funding model for the upcoming referendum based on what he described as strong bipartisan support for change. Last month, 134 government, opposition and crossbench MPs voted for change in parliament against two dissidents, NSW Liberal Alex Hawke and his West Australian colleague Dennis Jensen.
It is more than apparent that this referendum is a waste of money, but the public is being treated with absolute contempt by those with a vested interest in seeing this constitutional change pass.
For more information about the ‘no’ campaign check out this website.
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