Collaborative Federalism: Economic Reform in Australia in by Martin Painter

By Martin Painter

This unique and provocative examine of federalism identifies a brand new development of intergovernmental family in Australia. via his common dialogue of the character of the Australian federal approach, and shut research of modern advancements in Australian politics and coverage making, Painter argues that the federal method is being essentially reshaped as country and commonwealth governments cooperate extra heavily than ever ahead of on joint policy-making schemes. The booklet comprises either narrative debts and certain discussions of key examples.

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Additional resources for Collaborative Federalism: Economic Reform in Australia in the 1990s (Reshaping Australian Institutions)

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THEORY AND PRACTICE OF COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM 23 In constitutional terms, the governments are independent of each other. Constitutionalised cooperative or joint decision-making arrangements are exemplified by the German federal constitution: first in the composition and powers of the upper house, the Bundesrat, to which the provincial governments (or Lander) nominate representatives, and which has equal law-making powers with the lower house; and second in the 'functional' division of powers, with the principal law-making power over most matters lying with the federal parliament, and the provincial governments implementing federal laws and a plethora of joint programs'.

Three general reasons have always provided strong arguments for the Commonwealth to tread cautiously in such instances. First, the unpredictable outcome of any challenge to the High Court from an invasion of state jurisdiction can sometimes create more problems for the Commonwealth than it resolves—a negotiated political settlement offers 36 COLLABORATIVE FEDERALISM at least the certainty of influencing the outcome. Second, the invasion creates political friction that state governments and opposition parties can often exploit to their advantage, particularly when a government is politically vulnerable for other reasons, such as the state of the economy.

Paul Keating resigned as treasurer in June 1991 and unsuccessfully challenged Hawke for the prime ministership. Keating retired to the backbench, but no-one doubted that a further challenge was coming. Hawke's New Federalism was one of Keating's targets in his campaign during the second half of 1991. In a speech in October 1991 (also, like those of Hawke and Greiner in July 1990, delivered to the National Press Club) he mounted a strong critique of the whole process, condemning it for taking place out of the public eye and, above all, for threatening to surrender to the states vital powers that, he claimed, a national government must retain.

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