Positive news in The Australian this morning, with premiers and chief ministers from South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, the ACT and the Northern Territory urging the Commonwealth government to seize a “rare consensus” and push ahead with federation reform.
Malcolm Turnbull is being urged to seize a “rare consensus” among states to speed up reform of the federation, as a panel cautions against a loss of momentum under the new Prime Minister.
… The states and territories are working on areas including health, education, housing and finance to develop a green paper on federation reform, which will then inform the government’s white paper.
The process is aimed at addressing the level of overlap and duplication in the federation, which is seen as excessive.
One of the advisers on the white paper review panel, former South Australian premier John Bannon, said he believed the process had been one of Mr Abbott’s “most successful endeavours”, and urged momentum continue.
A note of caution: politicians often cure “overlap and duplication” by giving the Commonwealth greater control and management of issues which should be managed at a state and local level. So while the Commonwealth should definitely pursue reforms, it should resist any temptation to make the federal-state imbalance, and Australian governance, even worse.