The meeting of the Council of Australian Governments, held in Canberra on Friday, is being hailed by the participants as the best ever.
The major decision of COAG was an agreement on stem cell research. For the first time ever, all the State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers are from the ALP, with Prime Minister John Howard representing the non-Labor Federal government.
The Premiers were no doubt keen to demonstrate that wall-to-wall Labor governments are good for the federal compact, but there seemed also to be a genuine belief that the COAG meeting had been productive. There was effusive praise from the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, for the Prime Minister.