Critical Reflections on Australian Public Policy: Selected by John Wanna

By John Wanna

This selection of ‘critical reflections’ on Australian public coverage deals a invaluable contribution to public dialogue of vital political and coverage matters dealing with our kingdom and society. those essays are very important not just as a result popularity and place of many of the participants, yet simply because they're tremendously ‘content wealthy’ and brimming with new rules.

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For instance, the question of who holds the financial levers is well and truly settled. As our second Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, accurately predicted in 1902, ‘The rights of self-government of the states have been fondly supposed to be safeguarded by the Constitution. ’ Equally, it would be a mistake to confuse the Commonwealth’s fiscal power with constitutional power. As Sir Henry Winneke, the former Governor and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, said in 1965: As a consequence of our federal way of life, based as it is upon a division of powers between Commonwealth and state, there is no absolute sovereignty in Australia.

Inspired by the wealth of ideas and the many new voices that had been unearthed by the process and alarmed that the most recurring theme and, without doubt, the most popular idea was the abolition of the states. Here were some of the country’s brightest, most educated, most experienced and publicly engaged thinkers cheering rapturously at a throwaway line from Tim Fischer about getting rid of the states. It gave me real pause for thought. A century ago, as the fathers of the federation shaped the constitution, the preservation and protection of the states were pivotal to their deliberations, and yet today there seems to be a headlong, popular rush to abandon them.

It will also increase the national and international portability of the skills of our workforce. Health All states face significant challenges in delivering health services. Some of Queensland’s challenges are unique. Each week, up to 1800 extra people arrive in our state and contribute to surging demand. The majority of residents live outside the capital, some in remote communities and some in regional centres such as Cairns, which is further away from Brisbane than Melbourne. We have boosted spending on our health system, investing more than $10 billion over five years.

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