Articles on Federalism

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Proponents of increasing the GST ignore its implications for equality. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Renewing federalism: increasing the GST will increase inequality

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
States must be able to lessen their reliance from the much larger Commonwealth. AndreaDanti/Shutterstock

Taxation, the states, and redrawing our fiscal constitution

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
Finding the balance in state-federal funding is harder than it should be. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Renewing federalism: state budgets, VFI and a ‘hard budget’ constraint

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
The way we are governed has changed radically from the world of the Constitutional founders. Flickr/Alison Young

Renewing Australian federalism

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review, with a White Paper process currently underway. In partnership with the Australian National University’s Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford…
Does COAG help the Prime Minister and the Premiers collaborate - or create a platform for empty grandstanding? Alan Porritt/AAP

Why we need clear rules between the states and Commonwealth

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
The states are far better placed to make good education policy for Australians than the Commonwealth. AAP

Hands off, Canberra: education is better off with the states

Could we be witnessing the dawn of a new era of education federalism? It’s rare to hear senior public servants severely and publicly criticise existing institutional and political arrangements and call…
There have been instances of successful federalism - how do we return to these? Flickr/monkeyc.net

How we can reinvigorate the Australian Federation

When our two major levels of government work in partnership, our Federation can function well. The standout period for cooperative federalism was the Hawke/Keating term of government, producing the National…
A formal, transparent and public assessment of infrastructure benefits and costs is the only way to ensure the right decision are made. Dan Peled/AAP

Realising Abbott’s infrastructure dream will need state support

One of the many challenges facing the Australian economy over the next decade or two concerns investment in transport, electricity, water, communications, health and education, and other infrastructure…
An unintended consequence of competitive federalism has led states to abandon high benefit-cost ratio projects for inferior ones. AAP/Alan Porritt

Beggar bowl politics blocks Federation’s potential

Calls to lift the GST rate to placate the states financial challenges will serve to only exacerbate an already severe vertical fiscal imbalance and prolong a deeply unsatisfactory chapter in Australia’s…
The NSW Baird government is relying on asset sales to fund infrastructure, but all state governments have a revenue problem. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

New federalism promise recedes on falling wave of state asset sales

The fiscal relationship between the Commonwealth and the states in Australia’s federal system is unsustainable in the long term. That statement has been difficult to deny ever since the 1940s, when Canberra…
Realistic reforms to federal-state financial relations are possible with the right amount of political will. AAP/Alan Porritt

Could ‘hard budget constraints’ fix the federation’s fiscal feud?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
What’s the ideal arrangement for funding education? Would responsibility lie with the federal or state governments? AAP

Is education better off in state or federal hands?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
The chances of a single level of government taking charge of Australia’s health system are slim. AAP/Quentin Jones

Federal-state health relations: can anything be salvaged?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
Since the first Commonwealth parliament, commemorated in a special 2001 sitting in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, government has grown in unanticipated ways. AAP/Julian Smith

A reformed federation to match the needs of modern Australia

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut some $80 billion in funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how…
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls had little good news to deliver. Dan Peled/AAP

Queensland budget shows why the federation is broken

As Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls released the state budget yesterday, one could be excused for not really noticing. Long the poor cousin of Australian Federalism, state budgets rarely get much press…
There is now a large disparity between the respective responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the states and their relative capacities to fund those responsibilities. AAP/Alan Porritt

Federation frozen in time fails as a model of accountable government

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut some $80 billion in funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. But how…
Australia’s state premiers are avoiding a GST discussion. Daniel Munoz/AAP

GST reform a golden opportunity, soon to be missed by the states

This past Tuesday was another bad day for Australian federalism: the Abbott government’s first budget announced the axing of the COAG Reform Council and the withdrawal of a promised A$80 billion from health…

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