Australian federalism

It is also important to note that the attendees agreed reform would need to start from the current position and not echoing any previous attempts.

The Roundtable discussion made it apparent that Australian federalism is dysfunctional and needed shaping up.

Australian Federalism

South Australia was briefly a member between and A further fundamental issue was how to distribute the excess customs duties from the central government to the states.

It would help if the Commonwealth government could restrain itself from saying or doing things on, say, chaplainsor corporal punishment in schools - neither of which is a Commonwealth function.

It was to be a partnership approach to governance and financing directed to promoting competition and participation in the interests of productivity. James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in their federalist papers between and won the hearts of many Americans in approving a federal constitution.

Yet internationally, federalism is regarded as a modern, flexible and efficient structure that is ideal for meeting the needs of local communities while responding to the pressures of globalisation.

The power to "make laws for the government" of the Territories, assigned to the Commonwealth Parliament by s of the Constitution, is not confined by any words of limitation.

State and local governments are much better placed to levy land taxes, royalties on resource production, user fees and charges for services and activities in each state.

Federation of Australia

Early opposition[ edit ] The individual colonies, Victoria excepted, were somewhat wary of Federation. The difference between these two views is stark. In terms of the Federal Council of Australia Act, the Australian drafters established a number of powers dealing with their "common interest" which would later be replicated in the Australian Constitution, especially section On the one hand, nationalist sentiment was strong within the labour movement and there was much support for the idea of White Australia.

A distinguishing feature of our federation is the very high level of VFI, with the Commonwealth in the dominant position.

It also provided that the Senate should consist of an equal number of members from each State while the Lower House should reflect the national distribution of population. Even though the position of the states has weakened constitutionally and financially they still play an important role in Australian politics.

Queensland, for its part, worried that the advent of race-based national legislation would restrict the importing of kanaka labourers, thereby jeopardising its sugar cane industry.


Increased cooperation and collaboration around national and state issues would need to be achieved. After the Adelaide meeting, the colonial Parliaments took the opportunity to debate the emerging Bill and to suggest changes. The change offers opportunities to make lasting improvements and Australian governments should seize the opportunity towards delivering effective national responses and generating substantial benefits for Australians.

So for instance, there was always going to be parts dealing with the executive, the parliament and the judiciary in any Australian constitution. For more than 50, years the indigenous people of Australia have relied on the Murray Darling Basin to supply their water, food and other financial needs.

Linked to such a discussion is the question of intergovernmental relations and how they are managed, including in relation to overseas treaties and trade agreements.

Unlike in countries such as Nigeriawhere federalism serves the purpose of providing for ethnic autonomy, Australian federalism solves no problem and confers no benefit. We create a dynamic as well as reflect a dynamic and I think yes, Canadian federalism is a lot healthier than Australian federalism.

Federalism - Frequently Asked Questions

In response to these problems, the States jointly amended RMWA in order to allow the River Murray Commission to give consideration to the water management objectives. The Federal Council had powers to legislate directly upon certain matters, such as in relation to extraditionregulation of fisheries, and so on, but it did not have a permanent secretariat, executive powers, or any revenue of its own.

It did this by providing financial grants to states using the section 96 grants poweron the condition that they did not collect their own income taxes. Question — You are a Western Australian and you were their chief for a number of years.

Geoff Gallop 'How Healthy is Australian Federalism?'

Similarly, Sir James Lee Steere from Western Australia and the New Zealand delegates suggested there was little support for federation in their respective colonies. The Australian model of federalism is a model, which fails to conform to a conventionally perceived federal state.

It integrates two seemingly opposite principles, yet still possesses essential conditions, namely the presence of a multi-tiered system of government.

Parliament's development of federalism is quite different in kind from that of the High Court. Whereas the High Court sits in judgment over jurisdictional disputes between the Commonwealth and the States, the Federal Parliament is a major institutional player on the Commonwealth side.

Federalism was adopted, as a constitutional principle, in Australia on 1 January – the date upon which the six self-governing Australian Colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia federated, formally constituting the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia.

Jan 22,  · Sample Essay on Australian Federalism Sample Essay According to A. J. Brown and J. A. Bellamy (), federalism is a system of government where entities including provinces and states share power along with the national (+44) Unlike in countries such as Nigeria, where federalism serves the purpose of providing for ethnic autonomy, Australian federalism solves no problem and confers no benefit.

Australian federalism
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Geoff Gallop 'How Healthy is Australian Federalism?' – Parliament of Australia