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Tomorrow's Federation

Tomorrow's Federation

Reforming Australian Government

Edited by Paul Kildea, Andrew Lynch and George Williams


This book is a major work on federalism and intergovernmental relations in Australia. It moves beyond familiar discussions about reforming the federal system to address the practical means by which reform can be achieved. The book adopts a hard-headed approach to the question of how reform is being advanced and suggests ways in which it might be accomplished in the future.

The matters considered in this book range from the political to the constitutional, the legal to the economic. They include the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), intergovernmental agreements, referenda and public opinion. The collection offers in-depth analysis of recent developments, such as the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations and the creation of the COAG Reform Council.

A special feature is case studies analysing the path to reform in health, higher education, water management, and childcare and violence against women.

The volume brings together perspectives of those working in government and in academia. It is an essential text for readers wanting to understand the emerging currents and new challenges in reform of the Australian Federation.


Paul Kildea, Andrew Lynch and George Williams

Part One - Intergovernmental Relations: Recent Developments and Future Directions

Federalism Under the Rudd and Gillard Governments
Mary-Ann McQuestin
Adaptation and Reform in Australian Federalism
Alan Fenna
The COAG Reform Council: A View from the Inside
Geoff Gallop
The Council for the Australian Federation: Strengthening the Ties that Bind
Jennifer Menzies
Making Room for Democracy in Intergovernmental Relations
Paul Kildea
Increasing Accountability at the Heart of the Federation
Philip O’Meara and Anna Faithfull

Part Two - Intergovernmental Grants and Federal Reform

Tied Grants and Policy Reform in Public Hospitals and Schools
Vijaya Ramamurthy
Designing Intergovernmental Grants to Facilitate Policy Reform
Neil Warren
Using Regulation to Effect Constitutional Change in Higher Education
Robyn Hollander

Part Three - Legal Mechanisms and Federal Reform

The High Court and Dynamic Federalism
Melissa Perry
The Reference Power: The Rise and Rise of Placitum?
Andrew Lynch
Popular Ratification of the State Constitutions
Nicholas Aroney 

Part Four - Case Studies in Federal Reform

A Gender and Change Perspective on Intergovernmental Relations
Louise Chappell, Deborah Brennan and Kim Rubenstein
Health Policy as Contested Terrain in the Australian Federation
Janet Anderson
Water Reform and the Federal System
Alex Gardner

Part Five - The Constitution and Federal Reform

Rewriting the Federation Through Referendum
George Williams
Measuring the Mysteries of Federal Political Culture in Australia
A J Brown
State Initiation of Section 128 Referenda
Sarah Murray
Deliberative Constitutional Change in a Polarised Federation
Ron Levy



Published 10 February 2012
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862878228
Australian RRP $59.95
International Price $55.00
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Government / Political Studies
Law - Constitutional

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