Choosing Cairns or Townsville as a northern Queensland capital would set off a political storm, as would new regional governments around Australia.
Federal politicians and the public like the idea of abolishing the states. But consider the likely result: a more powerful Canberra, with regional governments amounting to glorified shire councils.
Bob Hawke recently renewed calls for Australia to axe state governments.
Leaving aside party-politics, there are good reasons why Australia should consider changing its Constitution to abolish state governments.
Camping under the Milky Way, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Emily Ogden, National Park Service/Flickr
As the National Park Service turns 100 years old, two conservation scholars and former park rangers respond to critics who support privatizing national parks or putting them under state control.
No matter who wins power, a large part of federal budget repair will fall on the states.
AAP/Mick Tsikas, Lukas Coch
The path back to surplus inevitably winds through state finances. And it's a potholed road.
Recent debates over federation reform confirm that the Turnbull government must map out a path and a plan.
Commitment to a stronger, ongoing and more bipartisan federal reform process is one of the true tests of modern political leadership.
A dysfunctional unilateralism characterises intergovernmental relations in Australia.
The reality is that intergovernmental relations are not the strong point of federal systems generally. But some do it better than others.
A metropolitan government’s essential features would be democracy, autonomy and accountability.
The role both state and federal governments play in Australia’s urban regions is often incompatible with effective metropolitan governance.
A handful of ideas to fix the tax system.
A better tax system and long-term budget sustainability starts with this blueprint.
State Premiers like Daniel Andrews are always keen to point out any inequality in federal funding decisions.
If the system was fixed project funding would be more likely to be based on merit.
If states controlled school funding it could lead to innovation that otherwise might not be possible.
If states controlled more of their school funding, competition could lead to innovation where the best ideas are adopted nationwide.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the COAG meeting with state and territory premiers and treasurers.
Giving states the power to levy income tax won't make up for the shortfall in health and education funding and it could mean poorer states are worse off.
Whether he succeeds or not, Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to reform the federation will be a long and tricky process.
Malcolm Turnbull's bold plan to give states the power to levy income tax is a risky move, and the latest in a string of attempts to 'fix' federal-state relations that have not succeeded.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will face off with state premiers today.
There's more than one way to restore Australia to genuine federation.
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is the only state premier putting his support behind Malcolm Turnbull’s federation proposal.
Free market economists love the idea, but not everyone would welcome the competition.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faces an uphill battle convincing all the states to agree to federation reform.
There's a reason the states have generally agreed to levy taxes in a uniform way.
Malcolm Turnbull announced his new income tax plan while visiting the Penrith Panthers Rugby League Academy on Wednesday.
Paul Millar/AAP Image
By proposing a dramatic shake-up of income taxing powers Turnbull has thrown himself into a contest that will test his policy and persuasive skills to the hilt.
Malcolm Turnbull plans to raise the idea of states’ access to income tax at this week’s COAG meeting.
Just when we thought the tax debate was winding down to minimalism, as least as far as the federal government was concerned, Malcolm Turnbull has decided to throw a curveball. The government is preparing…
The Commonwealth is telling the states to fix their own hospital budget problems, as though state governments can simply find savings from other areas.
Health-care costs are rising, driven by expensive developments in treatments, more demanding populations and rising national wealth. We need to change the financing system to meet this challenge.
Mayor R.T. Rybak surveys the 2007 Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
u.s. Coast Guard/Wikimedia
What do U.S. mayors worry about? A recent survey finds that aging infrastructure is a top concern – and many mayors say state and federal agencies hinder their efforts instead of helping.
Solar downtown: state-level policies led to a surge in solar adoption and energy efficiency measures in the late 2000s.
Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
States and regions are taking the lead on climate change action and, so far, are seeing economic and environmental benefits.