Australia Federation in a time of pandemic


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.

Analysis: Australia's Federation post-pandemic playbook | Read it here
Effective Commonwealth-state collaboration is critical to progress in areas the community cares about most. This CEDA report from CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball analyses the effectiveness of the revised approach to Commonwealth-state relations through National Cabinet adopted in the COVID-19 crisis, and actions that should now be taken to lock in its long-term effectiveness. This report builds on previous CEDA research, including A Federation for the 21st Century (2014) and Sustainable Budgets (2019). 
Download Australia's Federation post-pandemic playbook.


Watch: Resetting Federation for recovery

Former Premier of Victoria, The Hon. John Brumby AO; Griffith University, Principal Research Fellow, Jennifer Menzies; and CEDA Chief Executive, Melinda Cilento convened to explore the lessons and successes from the way federal-state relations has been conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic to shape the Federation and its effectiveness in advancing key policy issues into the future.

Read: State Treasurers discuss future of the National Cabinet

At State of the Nation, Treasurer of Victoria Tim Pallas, Treasurer of NSW the Hon. Dominic Perrottet and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA joined CEDA and discussed the future of the National Cabinet as well as to how Australia’s Federation has responded to the health and economic issues brought about by COVID-19. Read the highlights here. 

Other recent CEDA research