Perpetuating the Canberra reflex

COMMENT By Oliver Marc Hartwich  In terms of its land mass, Australia is the sixth largest country on earth. The distances between the state capitals are enormous and travelling between places within the states by means other than air transport can take many hours. Given these spatial characteristics, perhaps the most surprising feature of Australia’s […]

Commonwealth takeover of aged care

By Angela Dorizas Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a Commonwealth takeover of aged care policy and funding in the lead up to next week’s COAG meeting.   The Government will invest $739 million in the sector and take full responsibility for aged care, including home and community care, as part of its broader scheme […]

Government services reviewed

By Staff Writer New South Wales is the worst state for hospital mishaps and system failures, Queensland spends less per person on its police service than other states and territories, while Victoria has the slowest and most expensive justice system in the nation. They are just some of the findings of the Productivity Commission’s Report […]

Transport ministers agree to single national regulators

Australia’s transport sector will undergo sweeping reforms, following the Australian Transport Council (ATC) announcement to introduce single national regulators in rail, maritime and heavy vehicles. State and territory transport ministers agreed on Friday that South Australia would become the host jurisdiction for the national rail safety regulator, with offices also established in each state and […]

Councils seek share of road tax revenue

By Staff Writer Local government has called on the Commonwealth to include local roads in any future road and transport tax reform. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said it wants to be “closely involved” in any future user charges for travel on its roads. ALGA president Geoff Lake voiced the sector’s concerns following the release […]

COAG report finds widening gap in Indigenous health

By Rob O'Brien An increase in child abuse and a series of ‘unaccepable outcomes’ have been highlighted by a a COAG-commissioned report into Indigenous disadvantage. The fourth Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, released by the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Darwin today.   The Productivity Commission's report […]

Monash joins appeal for Harmony walk

By Rob O’Brien   The City of Monash has joined state leaders in its appeal for people to march in support of community diversity next month. Following the recent attack on Indian and Chinese students in Melbourne, the council advised people to come together to express its support of all walks of life in Melbourne […]

Business calls on COAG to speed up reform

By Staff Writer The Business Council of Australia has warned that the pace of key national reform is slowing, as seen in last week’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, Katie Lahey, called on COAG to focus on its national reform agenda.  “The trend […]

COAG includes local government in major reform

By Staff Writer The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the inclusion of local government in reviewing Australia’s emergency management arrangements and in future planning of major cities. ALGA president Cr Geoff Lake said the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) “unanimously supported” local government’s inclusion in the working group to improve the coordination of emergency […]

Developers and local government clash over housing crisis

The Property Council of Australia has refuted a claim by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) that developers’ ‘land banking’ was responsible for the current housing crisis, saying the LGAQ failed to consider “a whole raft of complex issues” affecting housing affordability. “A faltering planning system, restricted land supply, a lack of infrastructure and poor administration […]

New rules to fast track infrastructure fix

Infrastructure projects will be assessed for funding under new criteria on their ability to compete globally, to lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve quality of life and expand productivity. “The Government is committed to implementing the single largest infrastructure program in the history of the Commonwealth,” Mr Rudd told business leaders in Brisbane. “The Government […]

Solar industry embraces a national feed-in tariff system

A clean energy peak body has endorsed the recommendations of the parliament inquiry into the need of a national feed-in tariff system for the solar industry. The ‘Save our Solar’ senate inquiry recommended to maintain funding for the Solar Homes and Communities Plan while transitioning to a national gross feed-in tariff policy, which has already been […]


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