14 – Update 1 – Local Govt Assoc 2018 Campaign
Email Response Received from a
Victorian Labor Politician’s Office
The following information is presented to help those living in Victoria to appreciate the ‘spin’ that the government are trying to place on what they refer to as ‘The Alan Manson Campaign’ that is highlighting the draconian aspects of the Local Government Act 2018 and the VEET Scheme that they want to inflict upon Victorians.
The email below removes the identities of the politician and her staffer involved as there is nothing to be gained by exposing who they are. In the email it clearly says the “The Minister for Local Government’s office has provided the following response” so the government is responsible for the comments.
The purpose of posting this information is to demonstrate to the people of Victoria that the government wants to continue spinning the lie that the Local Government Act 1989 was established lawfully when it was not.
Below are comments I have provided to Brenda, which she has since forwarded to the politician’s office in response. It is hoped that the Minister for Local Government will provide answers to the allegations made so that the issue of the illegitimacy of councils being the “the third tier of government” can be put to rest.
Therefore, if any Victorian receives an email from their politician that is similar to the one below, then feel free to copy and paste my email comments to Brenda to see how your local politician reacts to the claims.
Email received from the politician’s office
This email in blue hows the blatant lies and/or ignorance see below for the reply stating the facts
From: <Staffer> on behalf of <Labor politician>
Sent: Wednesday, 14 March 2018 3:03 PM
Subject: RE: this sent on 7th–no response so sending again and will call….
The Minister for Local Government’s office has provided the following response to your email:
Local Government Bill 2018:
The email appears to be drawn from information on a website which cuts and pastes parts of different unrelated provisions of the Bill together in a misrepresentative fashion and implies that the Bill will provide councils with expansive powers to sell or enter property in order to enforce the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007. This is neither the intent nor the effect of the Bill.
The email and website both present many provisions of the Bill as being new when they are in fact already in force under the Local Government Act 1989. In particular:
Councils are currently constituted as bodies corporate which is to ensure that they are recognised as legal entities and empowered to act. This does not require councils to be ‘profit-making enterprises’ and the Bill does not change this.
Councils are already able to make local laws. Local laws are functionally the same as by-laws and were introduced as a replacement for by-laws in the transition between the 1958 and 1989 Local Government Acts. They are subject to several limitations, including that they not conflict with other legislation including the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Councils already have powers to ensure that works on land that are legally required are completed and may seek an order in a Magistrates’ Court to ensure they are undertaken. The penalty for not complying with a Magistrates’ Court order is 10 penalty units ($1585.70). The provisions in the new Act replicate this and do not include a power to sell land (which is implied in the email).
Councils have the same powers as other government entities to compulsorily acquire land under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986. Councils are defined as ‘authorities’ for the purpose of that Act and this appears to be where the misapprehension about the term comes from. Under that Act councils are subject to the same procedural requirements that apply to other government entities and the owner of the land has the same procedural protections as would ordinarily apply.
Councils are currently able to sell land to recover rates in exceptional circumstances, including where the rates have been unpaid for 3 years, there is no arrangement to repay them and the council has a court order requiring the payment. The provisions provide procedural protections to ensure that the property is valued and that owners receive the balance of the sale proceeds. These provisions are replicated in the Bill.
Under the Bill, councils, lenders and landowners can enter into environmental upgrade agreements to provide financing for building upgrades that improve environmental performance. The lender lends the owner money and the council collects repayments under its rating powers and passes them on to the lender. Currently these only apply to commercial land and under the Bill this has been extended to include residential land. Environmental Upgrade Agreements can only be entered into by agreement with the landowner and occupiers where applicable. This appears to be where the misapprehension about the “Victorian Energy Efficient Target Act 2007” stems from.
Councils are recognised by the Victorian Constitution as a distinct and essential tier of government. There is no serious question as to their constitutional validity.
For <Politician name>
Reply Email sent to politician’s office
Dear <politician’s name>,
My name is Alan Manson and since becoming aware of the proposed Local Government Act 2018, I have shared my concerns about this with a number of friends and colleagues of mine who have been similarly concerned about what is contained in this Bill.
Naturally, the aim of Brenda writing to you was to gain another perspective on this issue that maybe ordinary people like us may not be aware of, but it seems that your comments have not shed any more light on the concerns we have about this proposed legislation. Therefore, I will add a few comments to some of your statements reproduced below and maybe you might care to clarify to us any of my points we may have misunderstood.
Your first bullet point says,
“The email appears to be drawn from information on a website which cuts and pastes parts of different unrelated provisions of the Bill…This is neither the intent nor the effect of the Bill.”
In response, I question your claim that this is “…neither the intent nor the effect of the Bill” by questioning WHY were those points (that were cut and pasted onto the website) placed in the Bill in the first instance if they were not intended to be implemented at some later date?
Maybe you might like to explain what the true intention of every point presented on the website actually means on a point-by-point basis if each is “neither the intent nor the effect of the Bill”, <politician’s name>?
Your next statement gives me serious concerns:
“Councils are currently constituted as bodies corporate...”
In response I say that no incorporated entity can present itself as being a lawful government while serving the interests of its shareholders at the same time, because the allegiance of those employed within the corporation are to enhance the value of the corporation’s welfare and NOT necessarily towards the people they purport to represent, as such a situation will always create a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
By definition, all sovereign governments are unincorporated so as to remove any CONFLICT OF INTEREST to enable good government on behalf of the people.
A good example of this was seen recently where certain members of the Federal parliament had to resign because of a perceived allegiance (by birthright) to foreign powers outside of Australia – which involved Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia 1900 being enforced.
In a de jure (lawfully functioning) government, the people pay their taxes and their elected members and officials are known as “public servants”, who are employed to provide good government services on behalf of the people. Such a system cannot happen in a corporatised government environment due to CONFLICT OF INTEREST, because corporations are required to make their shareholders profits.
In this claim, one could cynically suggest that both the Liberal and Labor parties decided to join forces and establish a corporation known as the State of Victoria (Inc) and that all former departments of the state then became corporatised such as the Victorian Police (Inc);.The Supreme Court (Inc); schools, hospitals, etc.
Where taxes taken by the de jure government provide essential government-based services to the citizens of Victoria, under a corporatised government those who use such services must provide the funds needed to obtain the service as if it was a private service. If such an assumption on my part is correct, it makes me wonder where the taxes collected actually go if the people using corporate government services are providing the funding of those services? Maybe you might care to enlighten me about the true workings of corporate government, <politician’s name> because I may have misunderstood this somehow.
As Brenda’s email to you clearly pointed out—and which you completely ignored, governments throughout Australia have FAILED TO ACQUIRE the appropriate mandate from the people of Australia using a Federal referendum to make municipal councils “bodies corporate” and to become “…a distinct and essential tier of government” as you claim.
For instance, under the Constitution of Australia 1900 which remains valid today, Section 128 identifies the process that is required to be followed to allow for any additional tiers of government to be added. Such changes require a change to the Constitution, and a small section highlighted below identifies the part where the people decide upon such changes in a referendum:
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 128
Mode of altering the Constitution
“…When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes. But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one-half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.”
The following table has been extracted from the Australian Electoral Commission’s website) and which Brenda sent to you in her email.
It can be seen from it that there have been two attempts by the Federal Government in the past to “recognise Local Government”, but in both instances the people of Australia rejected such proposals. Therefore, these referendums make Section 74A(1) of the existing Victorian Constitution Act 1975 unconstitutional and therefore unlawful.
Just because ‘Dis-honourable’ politicians’ in the past who have no respect for the Constitution of Australia supposedly ‘legitimised’ the Local Government Act 1989 by making changes to the Victorian Constitution Act 1975 doesn’t mean that the Act is in any way lawful. Such changes are unlawful, and that is my point here.
When the Victorian Constitution Act 1975 became law, municipal councils were simply a department of the State Government in much the same way as the State Energy Commission (SEC) was. However, since Section 74A(1) of the Victorian Constitution Act 1975 was changed to make councils “the third tier of local government” in 1988 [correction 1989], this means that ALL parliamentarians since that time have unlawfully legitimised councils against the will of the people and against the Australian Commonwealth Constitution 1900. This in itself is a crime.
Therefore, for anyone who claims to support the validity of local councils by saying, “Councils are currently constituted as bodies corporate” is in fact concealing a crime, just as your statements below reinforce this false narrative:
“Councils are already able to make local laws…”
“Councils already have powers to ensure that works on land that are legally required are completed and may seek an order in a Magistrates’ Court to ensure they are undertaken…”
“Councils have the same powers as other government entities to compulsorily acquire land…”
“Councils are currently able to sell land to recover rates in exceptional circumstances…”
In your third bullet point relating to an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA – ref. Division 5 Clause 134) occurring on rateable land, you say:
“Agreements can only be entered into by agreement with the landowner and occupiers where applicable. This appears to be where the misapprehension about the “Victorian Energy Efficient Target Act 2007” stems from”
From the website information that relates to the EUA referred to, you overlooked Sect 134 part 3 (reproduced below), which links the Local Government Act 2018 bill to the VEET 2007 Act, which contradicts your claim above:
My claim that the LGA 2018 proposed Bill and the VEET 2007 Act are directly linked is proven in the image above. My analysis of what this Bill will mean to Victorians is that if a landowner refuses to comply with the offer of an EUA by their local council, the land will most likely be refused access to electricity, gas and water supplies as these resources could be used without limit by householders (as is currently the case); however under the VEET Scheme, any unrestricted use of these resources by ‘occupiers’ would exceed Victoria’s 6.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent based upon the 2018 allocation. So to me, your statement quoted above it totally misleading – because landowners will have a choice, but at what cost?
In addition to this horrendous situation for landowners contained in these two pieces of legislation, it seems that only rateable “entities” that have had an EUA that has been satisfactorily performed to council’s specifications will be able to remain connected to the energy/water grids. However, to meet the level of CO2 emissions for Victoria in the future, all household and business ‘entities’ will be severely restricted in their use of these resources. Only by abiding by the procurement of and strict accounting methods associated with Energy Efficient Certificates (EECs) obtained via an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will the “occupiers” of rateable land be able to obtain the desired levels of energy and water they will need to heat and cool their homes and to operate their businesses.
My analysis of both the Local Government Act 2018 and the VEET Scheme have provided this rather horrifying picture of the future for Victorians. Nevertheless, I could be wrong, so I offer you the opportunity to clarify anything I may have misunderstood by you demonstrating to me where I am wrong and by explaining what is the real purpose of the VEET Scheme if not to impose huge cost burdens on private land owners to comply with EUA requirements, together with horrendous penalties of $9,500 for households and businesses (and $38,000 for body corporate entities) just for breaching the strict accounting requirements for managing EECs.
Thank you for taking the time to read my response and I look forward to receiving any further comments you may have about this matter.