Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson today revealed that Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has used the State Parliament to move a motion on opposing non-existent changes to the Australian Flag – even though the State Parliament has no legislative authority over it – while he continues to oppose debates on firm proposals to force councils to amalgamate in the Illawarra.
“Mr Ward has said publicly that no motion on his Government’s proposal to force the amalgamation of Illawarra Councils is relevant because it’s not a matter for the State Parliament.
“24 hours later he uses the floor of the State Parliament to move a motion opposing non-existent changes to the Australian Flag – even though the Commonwealth Parliament has total jurisdiction over it under the Australian Flags Act 1953.
“Nothing exposes Mr Ward’s total hypocrisy better than this latest example of him saying one thing in Terralong Street while doing another in Macquarie Street.
“There are no concrete, official proposals to alter the existing Australian Flag in any way.
“But there are very concrete, official proposals to force the amalgamation of Illawarra Councils.
“Mr Ward just loves wrestling with a column of smoke.
“Mr Ward wants to waste the time of the State Parliament debating a non-existent proposition on the Australian Flag, which the State Parliament can do nothing about, and has no legislative authority to do anything about.
“Yet he is staying as quiet as a church mouse not to allow the State Parliament to debate a firm proposal announced by his Government on 18 December 2015 to force council amalgamations in the Illawarra”, she said.
Ms Watson’s comments follow a call by the former Member for South Coast, John Hatton telling ABC Illawarra this morning that Mr Ward should move a motion in the State Parliament formally opposing his Government’s support for forced council amalgamations in the Illawarra region.
25 February 2016