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Constitutional convention



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STATEMENT FOR PRESS κ ■

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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION , ^ ----------

THE MINISTER FOR THE

CAPITAL TERRITORY

Today’s decision on local government representation at

the forthcoming constitutional convention was applauded today hy

Mr Kep Enderby, Minister for the Capital Territory and Minister ' ' · . ,=

for the Northern Territory.

Mr Enderby was a member of the Australian Government

delegation at today’s meeting of the constitutional convention

steering committee, held in Sydney. .

The steering committee decided to recommend to the full

convention that local government be given direct representation :

by three representatives from each of the States, two

.. representatives from the Northern Territory and one from the .

Australian Capital Territory.

It would be recommended that the local government

representatives have the right to speak and vote on constitutional '

financial matters of direct interest to them, with each local

government delegation, including those of the Northern Territory .

and the Australian Capital Territory, exercising one vote.

The steering committee would also recommend that the

local government representatives from each State should include

one representative from the capital city of that State.

Mr Enderby said he expected that the Northern Territory’s

local government representatives would come from Darwin and Alice

Springs. This would mean two levels of representation for the

N.T. '

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At its first meeting last year, the convention

steering committee had agreed that the legislative Council of

the Northern Territory should have two representatives. Mr

Enderby said he had argued unsuccessfully at today's meeting to

have this number increased to three.

"Nevertheless," he said, "I regard it as a major ‘

breakthrough for the Territory that it will be represented at ' · »>

the convention to the extent now agreed."

Mr Enderby said the local government representative

of the Australian Capital Territory would come from the Α.0.Τ»

Advisory Council and would have the same vote as the State

delegations.

The steering committee today agreed to the suggestion

of the Australian Government delegation that the opening of the

first session of the convention be postponed from May 28 to

September 3, 1973.

The Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, drew attention

to the change in the Australian Government since the.date for the

convention was set in Adelaide last October. Senator Murphy said

that because of the enormous legislative programme at present

occupying the Australian Parliament it would be impracticable for

the Australian Government to be completely and adequately prepared

by May 28.

The Commonwealth gave an assurance that no further

adjournment would be sought.

All delegations said that the postponement, while

disappointing, : -did not in any way represent a diminution of the

resolve that the convention should be held.

CANBERRA, April 12, 1973.