Two tiered Australian govts

 
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Gone with the states and the "I's" are strongly in favour


http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/former-treasury-deputy-secretary-richard-murrays-paper-proposes-abolishing-state-governments-for-economic-reform/story-e6freoof-1226482836103


STATES would be abolished and more power given to city and regional councils in a two-tier government under a radical proposal to shake up the nation's economy.

Under the controversial plan, Queensland would split into six regions and shed the state government in favour of a bigger federal parliament, five city and 19 regional councils nationally.

It comes after The Courier-Mail this week exclusively revealed plans for Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton to unite north of the Tropic of Capricorn under an economic co-operation zone.

Should state governments be abolished?
Yes 76.16% (2719 votes)
No 19.02% (679 votes)
Undecided 4.82% (172 votes)

Total votes: 3570

Delegates told how the state's north wants to lobby as a unified bloc for big-ticket items in the economic powerhouse region worth about $60 billion a year, splitting the state along economic lines.

In his newly published paper, A New Federation with a Cities and Regional Approach, former Treasury deputy secretary Richard Murray offers a blueprint for macro and micro-economic reform.

He suggests rewriting the Constitution to share revenue and power between two tiers of government.

His paper reopens fresh debate on federation, productivity and governance as it looks at the "multiple, overlapping and interacting problems of the three-tier system of government".

Townsville Regional Council Mayor Jenny Hill yesterday said the paper proposed a much more streamlined system of government.

"Many people bitterly complain about too many layers of bureaucracy and government," she said.

"I think some councils would be up to the task, others might not.

"It would be very hard if not impossible to get the state governments to give up their power and let it devolve to the regions.

"But, because we started out as colonies, we've been left with this legacy of the 19th century.

"It is holding us back in the 21st century."

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
If state governments were abolished, who would be responsible for state infrastructure such as state highways and railways?
  TE2815 Minister for Railways

Location: Mission control Minto or Thirlmere
Without delving right into the nuts and bolts of it it would seem to me that this INCREASES the level of LOCAL Government/Councils at the expense of the states, if anything should reduce the local area.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I have no doubt that at some time in the future State governments will become redundant. We have been moving towards that with Council amalgamations for a while now. The process will however take quite some time, perhaps another 50 years or more. As for the question regarding "State infrastructure", simple, there won't be any. All infrastructure will be "owned" by either Federal or Local government.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
If state governments were abolished, who would be responsible for state infrastructure such as state highways and railways?
"railblogger"


I'm going to state the obvious, no state, no state infrastructure. It would be handed over to Feds or new larger local councils. As far as railways are concerned, the states only manage a fraction of what they once did and if you wind back the clock 40 years, it was proposed for feds to take over the lot outside commuter services. Only SA and Tas took up the offer. Had the other states joined in there would have been much greater rationalisation sooner, rather than die a thousand deaths as happened anyway, gauge conversion and standardisation would have been faster and I'd dare say Vic would be SG now. We may have see something along the lines of cross border gauge expansion along NSW and Qld. Such that either SG would have found its way from Moree and into Brisbane or NG to Moree, I'd say NG to Moree first, then add a third rail would have followed once something with the Range would have been resolved.

I'm fairly sure the states are history and won't form part of the 200th centary of federation, but I doubt it will be 50 years.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
Dare I say it, but Sydney (and NSW) needs a lot of Council amalgamations like Victoria had a decade ago.

For instance, on a 10km drive from Pyrmont to Burwood via the City West link and Parramatta Road, one travels through 4 Local Govt areas - Sydney, Leichhardt, Ashfield then Burwood. Divert one street west and a 5th gets added - Canada Bay. Forget to turn left for Burwood and two blocks later you are in Strathfield.

No wonder people dont bother to vote on Local Government Elections - I didnt know the last one was on until a day before when a friend mentioned it.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Dare I say it, but Sydney (and NSW) needs a lot of Council amalgamations like Victoria had a decade ago.

For instance, on a 10km drive from Pyrmont to Burwood via the City West link and Parramatta Road, one travels through 4 Local Govt areas - Sydney, Leichhardt, Ashfield then Burwood. Divert one street west and a 5th gets added - Canada Bay. Forget to turn left for Burwood and two blocks later you are in Strathfield.

No wonder people dont bother to vote on Local Government Elections - I didnt know the last one was on until a day before when a friend mentioned it.
"mikesyd"


Vic, Qld and Tas have all had amalgamations over last 18 years or so (SA and WA?). It will happen in NSW. However they need to further amalgamate further to get close to whats needed to remove states. Personally councils must be of such a size the councilers are able to be paid for a full time job.
  Speed Minister for Railways

Were the states to be removed, transferring responsibilities from the states to local governments would be a bad thing in almost all cases.

One big problem is that the Commonwealth avoids spending by cutting funds to the states or by transferring responsibilities. They try to control the states by restricting grants.

If a responsibility is transferred to the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Government has to make the willful decision whether to fund each facet of it. If responsibility is transferred to local government, it's still not the Commonwealth's decision. As yet, we have no precedent for the Commonwealth funding local government. Local councils earn their money through rates. If responsibilities were transferred to them, you would expect councils to fund those responsibilities with rates.

Even though eliminating state government would eliminate squabbling between levels of government, many voters will be wary of it. Although it's not a real protection, people count on the two tiers of government to restrain each other. It's normal for a state government to be the opposing political party to the Commonwealth government. Bizarrely, many voters are comfortable with one party controlling both houses of one parliament but not with one party controlling the lower house in each of two parliaments.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

Without delving right into the nuts and bolts of it it would seem to me that this INCREASES the level of LOCAL Government/Councils at the expense of the states, if anything should reduce the local area.
"TE2815"
Agreed.  Councils are as corrupt as the day is long, and there's little oversight compared to the eyes trained on State and Fed Governments.  The MBRC has recently added an 'Infrastructure' charge to their Rates.  I though that was what the Rates were for?  Councils now also fob off any planning decisions and approvals to the Public Service anyway, so what are the Councillors for?
Far better imo to kill off Councils completely and run 'local government' out of a State Ministry, something like the Office of Local Government.  If nothing else, it'd save a bucketload of money be eliminating all those Councillors and replacing them with a much smaller number of bureaucrats earning roughly the same amount of money each.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Without delving right into the nuts and bolts of it it would seem to me that this INCREASES the level of LOCAL Government/Councils at the expense of the states, if anything should reduce the local area.
"TE2815"
Agreed.  Councils are as corrupt as the day is long, and there's little oversight compared to the eyes trained on State and Fed Governments.  The MBRC has recently added an 'Infrastructure' charge to their Rates.  I though that was what the Rates were for?  Councils now also fob off any planning decisions and approvals to the Public Service anyway, so what are the Councillors for?
Far better imo to kill off Councils completely and run 'local government' out of a State Ministry, something like the Office of Local Government.  If nothing else, it'd save a bucketload of money be eliminating all those Councillors and replacing them with a much smaller number of bureaucrats earning roughly the same amount of money each.
"Draffa"


This happens because they are still too small and easily run by the big local businesses who have their own interests. Make them bigger and make the councilor jobs full time. Also there should be an over acrching section in the new fed govt to ensure local council don't run astray. A form of upper house

As for the ongoing drip feeding of state govt via funding from feds.The problem is the states have too much responsiblity and not enough revenue, its almopst like they cannot do anything without fed funding anymore apart from basics.. Start pulling out the sections like health and you will soon make them less dependent on the feds. But any new changes to the tiered govts should be to make them more self funding, otherwise they have no validity.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Without delving right into the nuts and bolts of it it would seem to me that this INCREASES the level of LOCAL Government/Councils at the expense of the states, if anything should reduce the local area.
"TE2815"
Agreed. Councils are as corrupt as the day is long, and there's little oversight compared to the eyes trained on State and Fed Governments. The MBRC has recently added an 'Infrastructure' charge to their Rates. I though that was what the Rates were for? Councils now also fob off any planning decisions and approvals to the Public Service anyway, so what are the Councillors for?
Far better imo to kill off Councils completely and run 'local government' out of a State Ministry, something like the Office of Local Government. If nothing else, it'd save a bucketload of money be eliminating all those Councillors and replacing them with a much smaller number of bureaucrats earning roughly the same amount of money each.
"Draffa"

Totally agree with you...and one can see why alot of people don't vote in their local council elections.
With all due respect to the few honest councillors, the council where I live has been corrupt for as long as I can remember with 1 or 2 councillors being sprung for dishonest activites every year or 2.

Simple solution would be to eliminate councils, and perhaps have 1 'mayor' elected to represent the local region at very state election.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Personally councils must be of such a size the councilers are able to be paid for a full time job.
"RTT_Rules"


The Council that employs me has all full time Councillors. I suspect the same is true of all Qld Councils that are the product of amalgamation.

I will also add that the only unamalgamated Councils left in Qld are Brisbane City and "small" Councils that represent a large geographical area, such as Diamantina, which covers an area of 94,823.2 square kilometres, has 3 towns, Bedourie (permanent population 142), Birdsville (permanent population 283) and Betoota (permanent population 0, the last permanent resident died in 2004) and 17 rural properties.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

This happens because they are still too small and easily run by the big local businesses who have their own interests. Make them bigger and make the councilor jobs full time.
"RTT_Rules"
How big?  If the existing State Government can't adequately stand up to Canberra (due to various issues not limited to the need for funding), how are smaller Councils going to?  Not to mention that it's easier to find agreement or present a united front from a smaller group (five States) than with 50 or more Councils.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
I have seen many ideas to have just 1 Federal Government, no states and 50 local districts across the country... that was out in Bob Hawke's term.

A good chance to rip up our dreaded Constitution and start again, but no one in Canberra will have the balls to do that.

Dare I say it, but Sydney (and NSW) needs a lot of Council amalgamations like Victoria had a decade ago.
"mikesyd"

There are currently 42 Local Governments within the Sydney GSA. BOF wants it down to 14 within the next term which would be a great step. Really there is no reason to have one.... they do all the same work, just duplicated.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
The real problem with achieving constitutional change in Australia is that we are a fundamentally cautious lot when it comes to altering the Constitution..there is a long history of rejected proposals, mainly because there is a requirement to have a majority of votes in a majority of States.

Secondly, some posters have made statements about allegedly corrupt Local Government councillors. I have just left the sector after working in Councils for 12 years in regional Victoria. I have to say that the vast majority of Councillors are hardworking, well intentioned and principled people who care about their local areas and want them to move forward. It is quite preposterous for anyone to claim they are all crooks - like any sector there will be bad apples but most of them put in a huge amount of time for a very small paid allowance.

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