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Challenges and opportunities for Australian federal relations

Comments on Rob Burgess “WA opens a new front for Abbott”, 20/05/2011, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Coalition-Treasury-budget-MRRT-GST-revenue-mining-pd20110520-GZT5S?OpenDocument&src=sph&src=rot

To a person with little knowledge of federation politics, I would think the front that Rob Burgess identified should be handled with a similar principle to the GST agreement that Howard/Costello reached with the state and territory governments.

And that is, in the national interests of reforms to be more efficient, Canberra should provide more growing resources to the states and territories as not only incentives but also an implicit recognition of the rights of the states and territories in the federation.

Further, this front could be combined with the tax reforms front.

In that perspective, it would be wise for Canberra to reconsider its approach to the MRRT proposal.

PS: we have on the one hand that Canberra has been saying that the states and territories would not have the required financial resources to meet the future challenges of healthcare, on the other hand Canberra has been trying to get more and more revenue sources from the states and territories, such as the MRRT or its immediate philosophical predecessor, the RSPT.

Under this kind of approach, how can and will the states and territories have the required financial resources to provide sources including healthcare like public hospitals?

Isn’t the message from Canberra contradicting itself and confusing to the public, knowledged in the field or not alike?

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