By Martin Painter
This unique and provocative examine of federalism identifies a brand new trend of intergovernmental family in Australia. via his basic dialogue of the character of the Australian federal method, and shut research of modern advancements in Australian politics and coverage making, Painter argues that the federal process is being essentially reshaped as kingdom and commonwealth governments cooperate extra heavily than ever sooner than on joint policy-making schemes. The booklet contains either narrative money owed and designated discussions of key examples.
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Extra info for Collaborative Federalism: Economic Reform in Australia in the 1990s (Reshaping Australian Institutions)
While the Commonwealth's agenda on many of these issues of coordination and harmonisation was at heart centralist, not all state premiers had strong objections to many of Hawke's calls for greater uniformity. Inconsistencies, incompatibilities and boundary costs were in some cases significant burdens to them as well. Reaction to the Commonwealth's proposals for uniform schemes and the removal of cross-border anomalies varied from government to government and issue to issue. Greiner probably went furthest in calling for breaking down the significance of state borders, seeing 'no reason why we cannot have uniform commercial laws, uniform manufacturing standards, uniform consumer laws, food standards and public health regulations', not to mention a 'single, integrated [electricity] transmission grid for the eastern states' (Greiner 1990).
Of course, the largest state would have the least to fear in calling for uniformity, as it would be in the strongest position to determine the standard. In such a situation, interstate differences characteristically breed suspicion, fear and hostility. Resistance to change arises from a lack of certainty coupled with a lack of trust, often based on bitter experience of the manner in which power is wielded in federal politics. Even in areas of regulation and provision where most states—not just New South Wales—had begun to see the need for a reduction in anomalies and the benefits of harmonisation, the rhetoric of cooperation often hid an underlying fear of change.
Where New South Wales had started to go, others followed. A growing economic and fiscal crisis in Victoria in the late 1980s and early 1990s, involving the collapse or winding down of key state economic development agencies (the Victorian Economic Development and Victorian Investment Corporations and subsequently the State Bank) triggered the resignation of Premier Cain, a reappraisal by Labor, the sale of the bank and—ultimately—the election of the Kennett government in October 1992, with a radical neoliberal reform program.
Collaborative Federalism: Economic Reform in Australia in the 1990s (Reshaping Australian Institutions) by Martin Painter