Australian politics can only be properly understood through an awareness of the federal structure.
The essence of federalism is a division of powers between the Federal government and the six State governments. When the federation was formed in 1901 the original states retained their existing constitutions and powers other than those transferred to the federal government.
The federal government is also referred to as the Commonwealth government, the national government, the central government or the Australian government. Its powers are set out in Section 51 of the Constitution.
In practice, the powers of the federal government have been expanded through decisions of the High Court.
The federal government has also gained financial dominance over the States, especially since the States transferred their income taxing powers to Canberra in the 1940s.
- Aug 12, 2016: Tony Abbott Regrets Hyper-Partisanship In Speech To Samuel Griffith Society
- Oct 25, 2014: Abbott, Pragmatic Nationalist, Proposes Modest Reform Of Federation
- Oct 10, 2014: COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation
- May 18, 2014: Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1
- Dec 13, 2013: COAG Agreement On Indigenous Truancy And One-Stop Shops For Projects
- Nov 29, 2013: Education Ministers Speak Out On Pyne’s School Funding Announcement
- Feb 20, 2013: Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings At The National Press Club
- Dec 07, 2012: Full Text Of COAG Communique
- Dec 07, 2012: Gillard Claims Progress On NDIS And Power Prices Following COAG Meeting
- Dec 07, 2012: John Brumby Appointed To Chair COAG Reform Council
- Nov 12, 2012: Gillard Announces Royal Commision Into Child Sexual Abuse
- Aug 07, 2012: Gillard Tackles Electricity Prices
- Jul 27, 2012: As NSW And Victoria Offer NDIS Money, A Political Win For Gillard
- Jul 27, 2012: Baillieu Offers Extra Funds For NDIS Trial In Victoria
- Jul 25, 2012: Coalition Premiers Opt Out Of NDIS Trial; COAG Fractures
- May 28, 2012: A High Court Challenge To The Murray-Darling Water Plan?
- Apr 04, 2012: State Treasurers Not Impressed After Meeting With Swan
- Mar 31, 2012: Julia Gillard Meets With Campbell Newman
- Jun 30, 2011: Senate Committee Proposes Reform Of Australian Federation
- Oct 02, 2008: COAG Meets In Shadow Of Global Financial Crisis
- Jul 03, 2008: COAG Chief Ministers’ Press Conference
- Oct 28, 2006: Business Council Calls For New Commonwealth-States Contract
- Oct 28, 2006: BCA Booklet: Reshaping Australia’s Federation
- Jul 14, 2006: COAG Meeting: Chief Ministers’ Press Conference
- Nov 10, 2004: Federal Links With Local Government Will Grow: Howard
- Mar 18, 2004: Federalism: Canberra And South Australia Act On Murray River
- Mar 14, 2004: Madrid Bombings Prompt Meeting Of Counter Terrorism Committee
- Aug 29, 2003: COAG Meeting Reaches Water Agreement But State Leaders Walk Out Over Health
- May 02, 2003: Beattie Says Premiers Must Fight ‘Un-Australian’ Health System
- Apr 05, 2002: Council Of Australian Governments Joint Press Conference on Stem Cell Research
- Apr 05, 2002: Council Of Australian Governments Communique
- Dec 16, 1999: Howard Announces Federal Government Attack on Gambling
- Dec 16, 1999: Howard Announces National Approach To Problem Gambling
- Apr 09, 1999: Premiers’ Conference: Howard and Costello Press Conference
- Apr 09, 1999: Agreement on Reform of Commonwealth-State Financial Relations