This book is a major work on federalism and intergovernmental relations in Australia. It moves beyond familiar discussions about reforming the federal system to address the practical means by which reform can be achieved. The book adopts a hard-headed approach to the question of how reform is being advanced and suggests ways in which it might be accomplished in the future.
The matters considered in this book range from the political to the constitutional, the legal to the economic. They include the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), intergovernmental agreements, referenda and public opinion. The collection offers in-depth analysis of recent developments, such as the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations and the creation of the COAG Reform Council.
A special feature is case studies analysing the path to reform in health, higher education, water management, and childcare and violence against women.
The volume brings together perspectives of those working in government and in academia. It is an essential text for readers wanting to understand the emerging currents and new challenges in reform of the Australian Federation.
Table of Contents
Paul Kildea, Andrew Lynch and George Williams
Part One - Intergovernmental Relations: Recent Developments and Future Directions
Federalism Under the Rudd and Gillard Governments
Adaptation and Reform in Australian Federalism
The COAG Reform Council: A View from the Inside
The Council for the Australian Federation: Strengthening the Ties that Bind
Making Room for Democracy in Intergovernmental Relations
Increasing Accountability at the Heart of the Federation
Philip O’Meara and Anna Faithfull
Part Two - Intergovernmental Grants and Federal Reform
Tied Grants and Policy Reform in Public Hospitals and Schools
Designing Intergovernmental Grants to Facilitate Policy Reform
Using Regulation to Effect Constitutional Change in Higher Education
Part Three - Legal Mechanisms and Federal Reform
The High Court and Dynamic Federalism
The Reference Power: The Rise and Rise of Placitum?
Popular Ratification of the State Constitutions
Part Four - Case Studies in Federal Reform
A Gender and Change Perspective on Intergovernmental Relations
Louise Chappell, Deborah Brennan and Kim Rubenstein
Health Policy as Contested Terrain in the Australian Federation
Water Reform and the Federal System
Part Five - The Constitution and Federal Reform
Rewriting the Federation Through Referendum
Measuring the Mysteries of Federal Political Culture in Australia
A J Brown
State Initiation of Section 128 Referenda
Deliberative Constitutional Change in a Polarised Federation