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Senate Committee Proposes Reform Of Australian Federation

The Senate Select Committee on the Reform of the Australian Federation has released its report.

The committee was established in June 2010 to:

  • inquire into and report by the last sitting day of May 2011 on key issues and priorities for the reform of relations between the three levels of government within the Australian federation; and
  • explore a possible agenda for national reform and to consider ways it can best be implemented in relation to, but not exclusively, the following matters
    • the distribution of constitutional powers and responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the states (including territories)
    • financial relations between federal, state and local governments
    • possible constitutional amendment, including the recognition of local government
    • processes, including the Council of Australian Governments, and the referral of powers and procedures for enhancing cooperation between the various levels of Australian government, and
    • strategies for strengthening Australia’s regions and the delivery of services through regional development committees and regional grant programs

The Committee comprised three Liberal senators (Russell Trood, Chris Back and Scott Ryan), two ALP senators (Mark Furner and Claire Moore) and one Greens senator (Scott Ludlam).

11-06-30_senate-select-committee-report-on-reform-of-federation


RBA Governor’s Statement to House Economics Committee

This is the text of the opening statement to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics by Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank.

When we last met with the Committee in February this year, it was becoming clear that the recovery in the global economy was proceeding faster than many had expected. It was also clear that the strongest performance was in the emerging world, while recoveries in countries that had been at the centre of the financial events of 2007 and 2008 were relatively subdued. Global financial markets had continued to improve, but were paying close attention to the rise in sovereign debt in a number of countries.

At that time, people were talking about an expansion in global GDP of something like 4 per cent in 2010. As it turns out, it looks like the outcome will be stronger than that: current estimates for the year are about 4¾ per cent, which is above trend. The pattern of growth is still rather uneven. The additional strength has been concentrated in the emerging countries, with growth in China and India running at a pace of around 10 per cent in 2010. In contrast, growth of about 2½ per cent for the G7 group, after a contraction of around 3½ per cent in 2009, will leave a considerable margin of spare capacity and particularly of unemployed labour. [Read more…]


Federal Parliament Broadcasting Live on the Internet

The Federal Parliament can now be viewed live on the Internet.

Both houses of parliament are available for live viewing, as are a number of parliamentary committees.

The Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and the Senate Committee on Finance and Public Administration, are amongst the first committees to be broadcast.