catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Federalism

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George Williams, in an op-ed piece today, argues that Australian federalism is, indeed, in need of change:

Instead of the Commonwealth and the states exercising the powers most appropriate to them, we have federal government rife with duplication, buck passing and political conflict rather than clear lines of responsibility.

This has a big impact on the delivery of services, such as infrastructure, education and health. Problems can be neglected as being those of someone else, and where solutions are sought they may be far more expensive. All this is a powerful reason why we need to revisit Australian federalism. Stability is important, but maintaining a broken system that works against good government makes no sense.

Williams goes on to argue that there are two key questions in this debate. In short, who gets what, and how do they pay for it:

The reform agenda should deal with two big issues. First, we need to ask again who should have the power, and the responsibility, over major areas of policy. Second, we need to fix the financial arrangements that have left the states so dependent on federal grants.

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Written by Admin

July 5, 2006 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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