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Business Council Calls For New Commonwealth-States Contract

The Business Council of Australia has released a report proposing reforms to the Australian federal system.

The BCA says in the report: “In the past, the debate has been mainly framed around political and constitutional reasons for change. The extent of the problems and dysfunctions of the current system of federal–state relations – marked by a lack of consensus on national goals and consistent forward planning – is such that it has become a major barrier to future prosperity. The challenge of reforming federalism has now become an economic imperative. Currently, Australia has a system where the lines of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the states have become chronically blurred and confused. We have a system in which, because of a growing lack of transparency and accountability, the quantity of government has taken precedence over quality.

“As the world becomes more complex and increasingly requires decision making that anticipates rather than reacts to 21st-century challenges, Australia needs a system of government that can manage issues critical to the future of the nation through collaboration and cooperation. It is time for a new contract between the Commonwealth and the States.”

The Business Council of Australia represents the Chief Executives of 100 of Australia’s largest companies.

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