Patience, Allan: Can we afford Australia’s federal system?

Patience, Allan

Can we continue to afford Australia’s federal system?Pearls and Irritations, 18 January 2016

The article looks at the issues facing Australia and anticipates the forthcoming White Paper on the reform of federalism.

It is now more obvious than ever before that the nineteenth century compromises that resulted in the present federal arrangements are profoundly unsuited to the political challenges of the twenty-first century. What we have are separate representative governments in six states, two territories, and at the federal level. This is in addition to various forms of local government within the states. Critics of this absurd version of over-government have pointed to the expensive duplications, bureaucratic mazes, regulatory jungles, blame gaming, and inefficiencies these arrangements routinely foist on the people of Australia.

He looks at the failure of state governments, the prospects for regionalism and the need for civic education.

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