Friday, October 22, 2010

Select Committee on reform of the Australian Federation

I am afraid that this one passed me by, something that I regret, until Noric Dilanchian sent me the law Council of Australia submission. I quote from the Inquiry web site

On 17 June 2010 the Senate referred the following matter to the Select Committee on the Reform of the Australian Federation for inquiry and report.

That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on the Reform of the Australian Federation, be appointed at the conclusion of the Select Committee on the National Broadband Network, to:
(a) inquire into and report by 17 November 2010 on key issues and priorities for the reform of relations between the three levels of government within the Australian federation; and
(b) explore a possible agenda for national reform and to consider ways it can best be implemented in relation to, but not exclusively, the following matters: 
(i) the distribution of constitutional powers and responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the states (including territories),
(ii) financial relations between federal, state and local governments,
(iii) possible constitutional amendment, including the recognition of local government,
(iv) processes, including the Council of Australian Governments, and the referral of powers and procedures for enhancing cooperation between the various levels of Australian government, and
(v) strategies for strengthening Australia's regions and the delivery of services through regional development committees and regional grant programs.

The closing date for submissions passed some time ago. However, I wanted to report it because I know that a lot of New England people are interested in constitutional reform. I will try to do a report on the various submissions received a little later. In the meantime, feel free to browse the Committee web site!   

1 comment:

Mark said...

I've had a very quick scan over the NSW Government's submission. I was impressed with some of their points on the responsibilities of government, especially those of the states and territories that are now duplicated by the Commonwealth. Another point was highly centralised taxation methods and the imbalance of revenue or "vertical fiscal imbalance" between the Commonwealth and the states/territories.

However, on the strengthening of Australia's regions, the Sydney Govt gives hollow, generic advice:
"Stategies to strengthen Australia's regions should foster collaborative arrangements and encourage long term approaches to planning and service delivery."

Another interesting submission is that of the Northern Territory Statehood Steering Committee. Interesting to note the attitude of the Commonwealth in regards to establishing a new state in the Territory is that the people of the Territory "must demonstrate support for Statehood".

I wonder if the Commonwealth would entertain the idea of a New northern NSW state if the constituents of that area desire similar aspirations?