A lot has happened in the past two weeks when it comes to commonwealth-state relations. It started with a COAG meeting that went reasonably smoothly and ended with anger from the Premiers over cuts to funding announced in the budget.
The Commonwealth Government says these cuts were made to reduce overlap and decrease duplication. Of course, some would say, the best way to decrease duplication is to abolish the States…
The Prime Minister himself has, in fact said this. In this 2009 book Battlines, he said the federation was ‘Australia’s biggest problem’ and that we should, in fact, abolish the states.
He’s since softened his stance but, it does beg the question, should we abolish the states?
Over the next 2 years, commonwealth-state relations will be at the top of mind for the Government as they bring together a Federalism White Paper and a related Taxation White Paper.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the best way forward for the federation.
Should we abolish the states? Do you have other ideas about how we can improve commonwealth-state relations? Or are you of the view that our federation is among the best in the world and, as the old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?’