Australia Federation in a time of pandemic


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CEDA will explore how governments can restore community faith in the federation and its capacity to be a strength rather than a weakness.
The roles and responsibilities of different levels of government have been tested through the bushfires and coronavirus. While the National Cabinet of Australian Government leaders appeared to get off to a rocky start when it first convened in mid-march, within a month there appeared to be broad consensus that it has been a success and it could become an ongoing feature of Australia’s federation, usurping COAG.

This does not, of course, guarantee its long-term success outside of a crisis or suggest that it is the only necessary governance arrangement to make the federation operate more effectively in the future. It does, however, offer a new start and potential momentum to streamline the federal architecture and make it work more effectively.

How do governments take these recent experiences and continue Commonwealth-state momentum to restore community faith in the federation and its capacity to be a strength rather than a weakness? Achieving thi
s should allow Australia’s federation to get things done, not just in a crisis but in the interests of better long term economic, social and environmental reform.

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