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Without metropolitan governance that is responsive to city residents’ wishes, states are much influenced by federal priorities – that is, by the money on offer. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Metropolitan governance is the missing link in Australia’s reform agenda

Representative and accountable metropolitan government is needed to lead metro-scale planning, infrastructure investment and services, and partnerships with the private sector and civil society.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, meeting with state leaders today, says if we were starting from scratch we’d tax differently. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia doesn’t need eight different income tax rates

There's no need to abandon the current tax collection system. Instead we should ensure the voting public understand where their taxes are going.
Malcolm Turnbull may struggle to persuade Daniel Andrews and some other state leaders to back major tax change, though Mike Baird has been arguing for reform. Sam Mooy/AAP

Turnbull faces his most taxing test yet: wooing the states to overhaul the GST

Despite all the media coverage, don't expect any clear decisions on national tax reform on Friday. But we should see more progress on other issues, including domestic violence and violent extremism.
Today’s state and territory leaders have an opportunity to emulate the founders of the federation and make history by breathing new life into Australia’s system of government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Rebalancing government in Australia to save our federation

Federation in 1901 is now the middle point between 2014 and the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Despite this, most views of federation, if Australians have one at all, are probably shaped by its 19th-century…
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…
Former Victorian premier John Brumby, pictured at a COAG meeting in 2008, wants an Australian federation with a better balance between roles, responsibilities and revenue. AAP/Paul Miller

John Brumby: an Australian federation for the future

More than 100 years after Federation, the government’s White Paper on Reform of the Federation presents a historic opportunity to reconsider federal-state relations and responsibilities. How can state…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott (front left) and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman (front right) are keen to overhaul COAG, but will they succeed where others have failed? AAP Image/Dan Peled

Queensland challenges Abbott to end federal ‘meddling’

Tony Abbott will face a fired-up “states’ union” at his first meeting with Australia’s premiers and chief ministers next…

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