Demands for a new federalism

 The NSW Business Chamber has joined the Business Council of Australia in calling for a radical overhaul of federal and state government relations.

The Chamber, which represents NSW businesses, has called on the Council of Australian Governments to use its first meeting tomorrow to set out a framework for a major reworking of federal-state relations.

“Australia needs a constitutional convention in 2008 to deal with the deterioration in performance of the Australian Federation”, said Kevin MacDonald, CEO of NSW Business Chamber.

The BCA is arguing for a “charter for new federalism”, under which COAG would meet at least twice a year, for at least a full day each time, and be supported by a permanent secretariat.

Meanwhile the states will be pushing for the new Federal Government to accept that the states will not abolish stamp duty on business transactions.

Prime Minister Rudd is demanding that the first COAG meeting focus on implementing his election promises. The Premiers are reported to have a more ambitious reform agenda.


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