Voters want their governments – local, state, and federal – to clean up their act and put integrity reforms high on the agenda.
Almost all states have improved their accountability in recent years, and are far ahead of the Commonwealth government.
The ACT has Australia’s best state tax system, NSW the worst.
The Grattan Institute says swapping stamp duty for land tax would make Australians up to $17 billion a year better off.
There could be much clearer skies ahead for energy policy if states take the reins.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The federal government is primarily to blame for the mess that is Australia's energy policy. It's time for the states to step up, to reduce both prices and emissions.
Australian cities need to sustain higher levels of construction and to provide higher-density developments to ensure growing populations have access to affordable housing.
Governments should stop offering false hopes and pandering to NIMBY pressures. As well as increased public and private housing supply, growing cities need well-designed higher-density development.
No state is better than the rest on all education measures.
School education in Australia is generally good, but it should be better.
Health is the largest single component of state government expenditure.
Australians are waiting too long for elective surgery, dental care and treatment for mental health. It's no wonder health is a vote-changer.
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop.
In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.
The Morrison government is but the latest to indulge in the policy fantasy of redirecting population growth to regional Australia.
Efforts by governments to redirect population growth to regional Australia have never worked. Even if such policies could be made to work, they probably wouldn't be worth the costs.
The beauty of our federation is that each state can learn from each other.
Ahead of two state elections, the Grattan Institute Orange Book examines the state of each state and how each can do things better. The good news is that if each copied the best in each field they would do very well indeed.