This paper outlines key issues to consider for reforming Australia's Federation.


The Commonwealth Government has committed to produce, working with the States and Territories, a White Paper on the Reform of the Federation. The White Paper will seek to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure that, as far as possible, the States and Territories are sovereign in their own sphere. The objective will be to:

  • reduce and end, as far as possible, the waste, duplication and second guessing between different levels of government;
  • achieve a more efficient and effective federation, and in so doing, improve national productivity; • make interacting with government simpler for citizens;
  • ensure our federal system:

a. is better understood and valued by Australians (and the case for reform supported);

b. has clearer allocation of roles and responsibilities;

c. enhances governments’ autonomy, flexibility and political accountability; and

d. supports Australia’s economic growth and international competitiveness.

The Prime Minister will release a series of policy specific issues papers over the final months of 2014. Papers on health, education,housing and homelessness, and federal financial relations will provide an overview of the key issues in these policy areas and will pose questions with the intent to promote public discussion.

Rather than propose new ideas, the issues papers will set out at a high level, key issues the White Paper will consider.

This first issues paper is a scoping paper, outlining the key issues to consider for reforming Australia's Federation.

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