Effective Commonwealth-State Relations

We support the development of productive relationships between state, territory and Commonwealth Governments to promote policy reforms that are of national significance.

On 29 May 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the Premiers, Chief Ministers and he had agreed to continue the National Cabinet established to coordinate Australia’s response to COVID-19, form a new National Federation Reform Council and cease the Council of Australian Governments. Our role includes coordinating meetings of National Cabinet and the National Federation Reform Council.

Review of the former COAG Councils and Ministerial Forums

On 26 June 2020, National Cabinet agreed that former Director-General of the Western Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet and former Commonwealth Cabinet Secretary Mr Peter Conran AM will lead a review of the former COAG Councils and Ministerial Forums with a view to rationalise and reset their work. National Cabinet also agreed to Terms of Reference for the Review which set out avenues for consultation with Commonwealth and state and territory ministers and officials. The Terms of Reference note that additional bodies may be identified for consultation through the course of the Review. Following an initial approach for information, the list of forums in scope (Attachment A to the TOR) has been updated.

National Cabinet agreed that Review will make recommendations on a streamlined structure, scope and reporting arrangements and on focused regulatory and policy work programs. The review will provide recommendations to National Cabinet by September 2020.

National Cabinet Reform Committees

On 12 June 2020, National Cabinet announced six initial priority areas of reform, and the formation of six National Cabinet Reform Committees:

  1. Rural and Regional Australia
  2. Skills
  3. Energy
  4. Infrastructure and Transport
  5. Population and Migration
  6. Health

In addition, the Council on Federal Financial Relations will progress reforms in the areas of tax, deregulation and housing, with an initial focus on deregulation.

Taskforces will continue work in the critical areas of women’s safety and Indigenous affairs.

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Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6271 5111

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