These cancer control plans have arisen in response to the impact of cancer on the Australian community and in recognition of the health gains that can be made through effective cancer control. They have been developed either in the context of a broader framework of health policy or as specific endeavours in regard to cancer. The specific recommendations and strategies proposed have focused on reducing the impact of cancer in the Australian population. Most commonly, recommendations, goals, and targets within the cancer control plans have addressed points along the continuum of care, specific cancers, and frameworks and processes. The strength of these reports is their comprehensive approach in identifying priority cancers and areas where specific developments should impact on morbidity and mortality. In the future, cancer control plans should be better supported by economic evaluations, and greater financial support for implementation and regular assessment is needed to identify progress on cancer outcomes. The more recent national and State cancer control plans include the development of frameworks to foster a coordinated and cohesive approach to the delivery of cancer care. These plans represent important reforms in cancer care in Australia, and have the potential to reduce the impact of cancer on the community and improve health outcomes.