Federations are in a state of flux globally, and Australia’s federation is no exception. As policy demands change and funding pressures mount, federal reform is always on the agenda. Yet, as demonstrated by the failure of recent reform attempts, change is never easy. This book takes a fresh look at the challenges and options facing would-be federal reformers. It brings together experts from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom argue that, for reform to succeed in an enduring way, it must engage meaningfully with the citizenry to evolve policy structures in tax, government service delivery and intergovernmental collaboration. Accordingly, many chapters focus on placing the recent Reform of the Federation White Paper process in its domestic and international context. Some chapters explore the desirable values underpinning federal reform. Others detail practical considerations around dividing roles and responsibilities between levels of government, intergovernmental collaboration and financial relations. Still others examine how to engage the public in participation and deliberation over the reform process.
Part 1: Roles and Responsibilities in the Federation 1. Beyond ‘Sovereign Spheres’: Public Officials’ Views on Allocating Policy Responsibilities in the Australian Federation Rodney Smith and AJ Brown 2. Policy Coherence Across the Education Continuum in Australia: Understanding and Improving Service Delivery Bronwyn Hinz 3. Why Local Government Matters Roberta Ryan 4. The Thawing Continent: The Changing Role of Local Government in a People’s Federation Bligh Grant and Joseph Drew Part 2: Models for Collaboration and Cooperation 5. Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Intergovernmental Negotiation in Australia and the US Carol S Weissert 6. Working Together: Policymakers’ Opinions on Improving Intergovernmental Collaboration in Australia Tracey Arklay, Mark Bruerton and Robyn Hollander 7. Bridging Sovereign Spheres through Professional Networks and Lively Publics in the Realm of Mental Health Policy Amanda Smullen Part 3: Federal Financial Relations 8. The Fiscal Predicament of Australian Federalism Alan Fenna 9. The Failure of the Federalism Reform Process and its Financial Implications for the Australian States Richard Eccleston and Neil Warren 10. Two Ideas for Renewal of Australia’s Fiscal Federal Democracy Miranda Stewart Part 4: Future Reform and Engaging the People 11. Obstacles to Federalism Reform in the United States John Kincaid 12. Reforming Australian Federalism: The White Paper Process in Comparative Perspective Nicholas Aroney 13. Practitioners’ Opinions on Barriers to Reforming the Federal System Mark Bruerton and Paul Kildea 14. Deliberating Federalism: Can the Australian Public Help Resolve Federalism’s Triple Challenge? Jacob Deem 15. Deliberating about Reform: Involving ‘Ordinary’ Citizens in Federation Redesign Scott Brenton and Sophie Reid 16. A People’s Federation? Populism, Deliberation and Federal Reform Ron Levy