Key Australian persons - Abolish the States!

In this section we do a bit of research and find out what people have said in the past related directly to the issue being addressed on BloggerMe: Feel free to add your comments to theirs:



How can we as tax payers start or implement the removal of state government . An outdated , archaic system of government , a waste of money and resources . There must be a group out there willing to fight for change as it won't change within .

Why aren't more Australians demanding the right to change how we are governed? Why do we have to support so many layers of government and their politicians, hangers on, advisors and corrupt officials? It seems the idea of really changing the system has been going on for decades, but because the impetus has to come from the politicians themselves it has come to a grinding halt. Who wants to give back their nice little salary, their entitlements, their retirement packages and opportunistic investments? The voting public should be calling for a referendum on our political system, be shown alternatives and options to govern this massive country in a more suitable way. State level government was appropriate 114 years ago, not so much now. I would liken our over government problem with the ignorance shown by the American government in maintaining the imperial measuring system in a world of global metric domination.

abolish state governments become a republic and change the flag all in one year as well as write a new constitution, ones state should be your address not a separate government within a government, the taxation burden on the population is growing out of control simple traffic fines are becoming a new state tax with all the major state energy providers privatized there is not much of any thing left to sell governments cannot get enough money council rates rise way over cpi with a bleak financial future ahead for at least the next ten years now would be a good time to grasp the nettle .

Yes. Can we have a referendum on this i come from cairns if u saw the neglet of our roads u would be in disbelief be nice too get rid of 1/2 the politions and have more fundimental workers such as bridge builders instead of doubling up on accountants lawers public servents and the list goes on in maintaining a 2nd poor preforming gov. Super councils is the way too go.


"Forget about the Queen as head of state as an issue. Obviously has to go now before Charles gets on the throne and restores our confidence in the monarchy. And forget about the flag. Obviously it needs to be changed to the boxing kangaroo – if it was good enough for Alan Bond to fight under it’s good enough for me.

"No, the big elephant in the room of unfulfilled national aspirations is getting rid of the states. Not because one is called Queensland and another one Victoria. Not the mindless differences in rail gauges. Not the patchwork of education and hospital systems. Not even bloody-mindedness over daylight saving. No the elephant emerged and loudly trumpeted his displeasure recently because the states are, as the endless schemozzle over water shows, completely dysfunctional for a rapidly warming continent.

"So, get rid of states altogether, and just have two levels of government? Suggesting this is a sure sign you’ve never dealt with a local council. To have councils handling most aspects of daily life except actually being Australian, to have them organising effective land and resource use strategies and conservation measures, would be to see an Australia as dysfunctional as mediaeval Italy, with a branch of the Borgias in every city. There needs to be something between Mayor and Prime Minister, some group of people thinking not locally, and not globally, but regionally."


"As the O'Farrell government lays the groundwork to slash the number of councils in NSW, the question has been asked: are we getting rid of the wrong layer of government?

"The person posing the question, former Victorian Liberal premier Jeff Kennett, says that in an ideal world, it's not the mayoral robes that should disappear.

"The man who transformed Victoria with a suite of big-picture reforms in the 1990s, including cutting the number of councils by almost two-thirds, says state governments should be abolished and replaced by larger, more professional local government units.

"His comments follow calls by an independent panel reviewing the state's 152 councils that called for an urgent municipal makeover, including widespread mergers and the creation of three Sydney 'mega councils'."

Nicole Hasham: The Sydney Morning Herald April 27, 2013

Photo of Mr Tony Windsor MP

"The federal MP for the northern New South Wales seat of New England, Tony Windsor, has renewed his call for the abolition of state governments."

" 'Federal governments would take over health, education and many of the other aspects that the Commonwealth has now, local government would be recognised correctly and would have a link in terms of the financial arrangements, and then I think that would give country Australia a degree of independence from the city-based capital cities,' he said."

ABC News 24: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:22am AEST


"In my first speech to Federal Parliament in 1993, I advocated the abolition of State Governments:

'The States are an impediment to good government, a fount of economic inefficiency, and a misallocation of scarce public funds. If we are to be a truly independent nation, economically vibrant and innovative, and to provide efficient and responsive government to the people of Australia into the 21st century, we must not exempt our antiquated system of government from the flood of change which is sweeping through this country.'

"I said this without much expectation that such a change would happen quickly, but a clear recognition that it will happen. And much as I anticipated, the significance of State Governments has continued to erode over the ensuing 12 years." 23 Nov 2005


Mr McIntyre said “Why do we need them? They’re costly and ineffective. Why should we carry the massive costs of 3 layers of Government? Not to mention the extra administrative burdens on business as well as additional taxes and inefficiencies.

Education, transport, health and infrastructure should not be state based systems; they should be federal and singular nationwide systems. The states are all united to be a part of one country,” he said.

Kritika Seksaria 21st Century News November 30th, 2012


"Ordinary Australian taxpayers are overburdened by too many political snouts in the public policy trough. Getting surplus politicians off our backs should start at state government level. There are too many of them. They are mostly wanting when it comes to weighing up local interests against national priorities. Too often their understanding of the public good is what is good for them.

"If we do go ahead and jettison state governments we will soon be able to afford the Gonski reforms to fix our failing education systems. We would quickly be able to establish a national disability insurance scheme. We would have more resources for our public hospitals and we would be able to comprehensively renovate the nation's ailing infrastructure."

Allan Patience SMH National Times December 20, 2012

... former Country Liberal Party chief minister Paul Everingham - a key figure in winning the Territory's right for self rule in 1978 - said 'times had changed' and the federal system should be abolished.

"If you gave the people a vote right now, I don't think there'd be states, except maybe Western Australia and, perhaps, the Northern Territory," he said.

"But in Queensland I'm sure they'd vote to abolish the state and have its functions taken over by local and federal (services)".

Northern Territory News October 26, 2012 6:16AM


Gough Whitlam, Australia's 21st PM 1972 -1975, was into major changes in Australia, and many of these changes involved the concept of abolition. He abolished university fees, he abolished conscription, he abolished the death penalty, he got rid of, finally, the white australia policy, he made racism illegal, he got rid of God Save The Queen, as the national anthem, he got rid of the British honours system. These changes, in addition to the huge number of positive changes, such as bring the troops home, such as Medicare, such as Aboriginal land rights, self-determination, such as human rights, women's rights, legal aid, multiculturalism, the environment, heritage, China, PNG, Australian film industry, entered into the Australian psyche and altered the political landscape forever. Whitlam favoured Commonwealth funding and complete policy takeover of health, education, housing and transport; he didn't argue for the abolition of the states, but he saw the States as increasingly sidelined and irrelevant.

Hon Peter Walsh, AO writes:

"Whitlam saw centralism as an appropriate, or perhaps the only feasible response to a variety of post-War problems, some of which are problems still. His preference for it was not absolute. He believed that urban public transport should be managed not by the States, but by city or regional government.

"In regard to industry and economic development, he believed that State governments rarely had enough countervailing power to ensure that the public interest would prevail over the interests of large, vertically integrated and often foreign-owned private companies. If a national government had insufficient countervailing power, which he believed applied to pharmaceuticals, national governments should coordinate their policies under the aegis of the World Health Organisation. His belief that State governments, especially in Queensland and Western Australia, lacked fiscal power to develop their natural resources, led him to suggest that Western Australia should hand over the Pilbara and Kimberley areas to the Commonwealth -- as South Australia had previously handed over the Northern Territory.

"In regard to social services, he noted with satisfaction that the 1946 referendum had removed 'any constitutional limitation on the Commonwealth's power to provide social services in cash", but lamented "the very great limitations on its ability to provide social services in kind'.

"When the Constitution was drafted, 'State Governments spent nothing on housing, next to nothing on health and very little on education'. Consequently, the Constitution had nothing to say about which tier of government should provide and pay for these services. Whitlam could see 'no reason why they should not be coordinated, planned and financed on a national basis' ".


Apart from his "recession we had to have" speech, which happened when he was Treasurer, Paul Keating, Australia's 24th Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996, is best known for his 'Republic Speech' and his 'Redfern Speech'.

Keating's 'Republic Speech' was delivered to the House of Representatives on 7 June, 1995:

"It is the Government’s view that Australia’s Head of State should be an Australian and that Australia should become a republic by the year 2001."

"... on April 28 1993 the Government established a Republic Advisory Committee to prepare an options paper which would describe the minimum constitutional changes necessary to create a federal republic of Australia.

"The ... Committee was chaired by Mr Malcolm Turnbull and comprised Dr Glyn Davis, Miss Naomi Dougall, the Hon Nick Greiner, Dr John Hirst, Ms Mary Kostakidis, Miss Lois O’Donoghue, the Hon Susan Ryan, and Professor George Winterton."

"... sooner or later we must have an Australian as our Head of State. That one small step would make Australia a republic."

"The change we propose has very limited implications for the design of Australia’s democracy. It is the so-called “minimalist” option. All the essential Constitutional principles and practices, which have worked well and evolved constructively over the last hundred years, will remain in place."

"It is not our intention that the Government’s proposals should affect the Constitutions of the Australian States. It would be up to each State to decide how in future they would appoint their respective Heads of State. It is reasonable to expect that, if the Australian people opt for an Australian Head of State, the States would follow suit. But the question would be for each State to decide.

"In this regard, we were interested that a committee commissioned to examine the issue by the West Australian government concluded that, if the minimalist approach proposed by the Republic Advisory Committee were to be adopted, the position of the States within the federation would not be substantially affected."


AAP, Sydney Morning Herald May 18, 2007:

"If Australia was started all over again and a fresh constitution was drafted, there would be no states, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

"Mr Howard, who has to deal with Labor leaders in every state and territory, said he wasn't about to launch a campaign for this to happen.

"'If we started the country again, that's what people would want,' he told ABC radio in Townsville.

"'But I am not about to embark on a constitutional campaign to get rid of state governments, let me assure you of that.

"'I am not interested in accumulating power in Canberra just because I am the prime minister. That is not the right way to go.'"



The Age:

, but they are like the voices of distress of those swimming against a significant tide for change:

Former NSW Premier, now Foreign Minister, Bob Carr says give the states more power,

"Let's give the states something meaningful to do." says Mr. Carr.

''I think we've got to look creatively at giving the states more responsibilities, loading them up with more responsibilities and saying you're answerable to the people for how you do this,'' Senator Carr said.

"State ministries could be stripped back to eight or 10 ministers, ''and that's being generous with workloads'', Senator Carr said. The NSW government has 15 ministers, while the Victorian government has more than 20."

''It's not working well enough for the people of Australia,'' he said.

Brisbane Times,


Sick of having a critical policy on Education, Health, Power and resources controlled by sectional groups, ie State Gvts. Also sick of the State Gvts stonewalling Federal Gvt because of different political persuasions. Bloody-minded, selfish pricks with there own self-interests before the countries. Hell, we still haven't got a national OH&S Standard that allows workers to be familiar with no matter which state they work in. For a country the size of London, we have 6 states and 2 Territories, BS!!!

"STATES would be abolished and more power given to city and regional councils in a two-tier government under a radical proposal to shake up the nation's economy.

"Under the controversial plan, Queensland would split into six regions and shed the state government in favour of a bigger federal parliament, five city and 19 regional councils nationally, the Courier-Mail reports."

Townsville Bulletin Tuesday 19th February 2013


The federal structure of government should be abandoned, writes Dr Klaas Woldring, as it’s a hindrance to good government.

"(T)he federal structure of government should be abandoned. It is beyond being inappropriate ― it is a hindrance to good government."

" is fundamental to a well functioning federal system is laudable, but it requires a completely different party system than Australia’s adversarial two-party system. The combative, aggressive political culture of this country, where opposing parties are in government in different states and at the federal level, has made the existing federation frequently virtually unworkable."

Independent Australia 4 October, 2012 12:00 AM


In the concept paper A New Federation with a Cities and Regional Approach, [Former Treasury bureaucrat Richard Murray argues] our region would be in the state of Murray Riverina with Albury Wodonga as the capital. Six House of Representatives members and six Senators would represent Murray Riverina in a larger federal parliament and senate.


"Richard Murray is to be congratulated on creating and publishing his proposal to modify the constitution. Having drafted a set of specifications for a Citizen’s Constitution, I know something of the effort required ..."

"BUT! Contrary to Murray’s assertion, our existing constitution is already a two-tier model; the Parliament and the States make two tiers, not three. Local government is not included or implied in the constitution and the proposition that it should be, has been defeated in two referendums.

"Murray proposes a second tier of ‘cities and regions’ and illustrates it by a map in which the states are divided into parts with a felt-tipped pen. A region is a part of the earth’s surface with a definable characteristic, with or without fixed boundaries. The ‘regions’ of Murray’s model would be better called ‘mini-states’, because for the most part they do not have definable, identifying qualities. Moreover, fixed regional boundaries will always be an impediment
to good governance.

"On the other hand, functional administrative regions are working now, each within a region specific to its function. These functions could be supervised by boards drawn from local and commonwealth governments without ignoring 100 years of experience and development. Local governments already collaborate to provide services such as regional libraries, regional waste management and re-cycling, community health and tourist promotion.


Reform map

[Former Treasury deputy secretary Richard Murray] "...suggests rewriting the Constitution to share revenue and power between two tiers of government.

"His paper reopens fresh debate on federation, productivity and governance as it looks at the 'multiple, overlapping and interacting problems of the three-tier system of government'".

The Courier-Mail September 28, 2012 12:00 AM


FOUR in 10 voters favour abolishing state governments, seeing them as the least-effective level of government and increasingly looking to the federal government to fix health and other problems.

The findings of a Newspoll survey conducted last month for Griffith University's federalism project and reported exclusively in The Weekend Australian today point to what constitutional lawyer George Williams calls "a crisis of confidence in state governments".

Federalism project director A. J. Brown, a professor of public law, says that unless the structure of government is addressed seriously, the inevitable result of current trends is that the states will continue withering away as effective partners in the federation.

Mike Steketee From: The Australian April 10, 2010 12:00 AM

The Australian system of government is now over a century old. The country has changed out of all recognition; does the structure of government need change also?

Restructuring Australia provides accessible accounts of current debate on three key issues: regionalism, republicanism and reform of the nation-state. Leading commentators from across the political spectrum ask the fundamental questions: what do Australians want and need from their system of government and what role will structural reform play in delivering this vision in the twenty-first century? [...]

Contributors: Tony Abbott, Geoffrey Blainey, David Flint, Brian Galligan, Ian Gray, Linda Hancock, Reuben Humphries, Chris Hurford, Mark McKenna, Allan Patience, Charles Sampford, Cheryl Saunders, Jim Soorley, George Winterton, Klaas Woldring.

Published 24 May 2004 Publisher The Federation Press

Abolishing the States/Abolishing State Governments is a great idea. But more than that…it is an idea whose time has come. Pundits, academics, journalists, newspaper columnists, reporters, editorialists & letter writers allude to the matter constantly, albeit, sometimes unwittingly. Furthermore, it can happen - indeed, I believe that the existing monarchical Australian Constitution gives us the scope to develop the idea into a plan.

1st Shed a Tier Congress
Canberra, 22 June 2001


Did you know that Australia is one of the most over-governed nations in the world? We have 15 houses of parliament for 18 million people. With a new century ahead of us, the time for change has arrived.

In an easy-to-understand format of questions and answers, you will find a great deal of information that will help you to play a part in Australia's future.
This is the essential contribution to the republican debate.

Released 01/02/1998

This critique of the Australian system of government, set out in a 'question and answer' format, provides information about the Constitution, Federation, the disadvantages of a two-tier system of government and the advantages of abolishing the State system. Discusses the way an alternative system of government might work, and argues for the establishment of a republic. The author is a former chairperson of the Australia Council.

Pan Macmillan Australia P/L, 1998

Attached are some estimations that have been worked on in the hope of consolidating the idea that, at the very least, many billions of dollars per annum can be saved if we moved to the kind of system of government which we discussed over the phone today.  I first came up with a $30 billion dollar per annum figure estimation back in 1997 in an effort to help Rodney Hall with his book 'Abolish the states' (Pan Macmillan).  Before then in 1995 I did some voluntary research work with former Labor MP Jim Snow that established a figure of some $15 billion – but that only referred to government sector savings and ignored/overlooked the immense savings that could be facilitated for the private sector through abolishing state governments and the establishment of a better system.

18 February 2002


Lindsay Tanner's new book offers a frank and forthright view of the future for Australia. [...]

In supporting this theme, Tanner is prepared to break with some of the Labor's ideals of the past. [...]

He calls for the abolition of the States[. Tanner] is arguing that the State boundaries are artificial colonial constructs that have led to absurd outcomes and unnecessary complexities developing in our legal system.

In their place Tanner believes appropriately sized regional and local governments should be established.

Book Review 26 February 1999

If, as some reformers propose, Australia's six States, two major Territories and 900-odd municipalities were replaced by a few dozen self-governing "regions", the resulting system would be a true federation provided that the regions were truly autonomous. Some "regionalist" models do indeed provide for autonomous regions. It is even possible (although not this writer's preference) to create a regional system without changing a word of the present Constitution: the existing Territories or parts thereof could be made autonomous under s.121, while the existing States could split into smaller States under ss.123 and 124, and the new mini-States could, and probably would, refer some of their powers to the Commonwealth under s.51(xxxvii).

30 June 2001


A best-possible system must be excellent on the basis of fundamental principles of democracy, justice, equity, efficiency, affordability and so on, but must also be understandable and plainly desirable to enough Australians to succeed in the referendum(s) that count. Obviously, all else being equal, the better a proposed new model is, the more people will vote for it!

Most people agree that if we could wipe the slate clean and start from scratch, we would probably design a system comprising the national government and between 20 and 60 regional governments.  [...]

A "least pain" or "minimalist" method of achieving change as envisaged here would be to establish regional governments or "Regional State" governments as New States, and simultaneously transfer powers and responsibilities presently held by the states and territories to a reformed national government, through referenda allowed by our present Constitution.

15 January 2001


"Rather than Queensland having nine senators from Brisbane, one from Townsville, one from St George and one from, well I don't know, somewhere else, there would be two each from six regions. In NSW, there are eights senators with offices in the Sydney region; in Victoria 12 are based in Melbourne and suburbs; Western Australia has 12 in Perth and its suburbs; and in South Australia there are 12 based in greater Adelaide. In Tasmania there is a better spread, but it is a small state. Rather than looking after the geographic dispersion of the nation, the senators accentuate the representation of the metropolitan capitals.

"What are the states? They are lines on the map that were drawn at an arbitrary point in time when a boat turned up on the coast and its occupants created a settlement that grew to a colony that became a state. And in 2009 that is about as relevant as they are."

Opinion National Times May 25, 2009


"In the near future, States for all intents and purposes will be irrelevant. [...]

"To recreate the efficacy of the Senate we have to get the Senate to represent regions within the State rather than the State. In fact in the future I strongly believe it will be regions within what was the State.  Each region would elect two senators and this would give regional people a better representation in a current tide that is putting more and more power into the metropolitan vote. [...]

"If you are elected as a Senator from a particular region you will have to be relevant to a geographical area to an extent that you get a quota. Assuming two are elected at an election from each region and one gets 40%, another gets 30%, and the rest of the quota exhaust, the new senators would have to be geographically relevant rather than just sectionally relevant. In time, people might even get to know their name.

"It is essential in keeping a spread of power in our Nation that there be constitutional recognition of local government. This will be the forerunner for direct appropriation from the federal government to local government for the provision of certain services, with strong and severe oversight against local political nepotism and corruption."

Under Senator Joyce's plan, states would be divided into regions based on geography with each area to have two representatives elected to the Senate.

AAP, Courier Mail, November 16, 2008 11:00 PM


Senator Joyce said if the states were abolished the question of what becomes of the Senate is easily answered. States should be divided into regions with two senators elected from each. In Queensland, the state could be divided along geographic lines, such as Gold Coast region, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, North Coast, Far North Queensland and Inland. Two senators would be elected from each region at every election to give a geographically representative vote. There is a precedent with the territories already electing two Senators at each election.

Media Release: November 17, 2008


"(The) country (is) still paying for the agreements under which states passed powers to the Commonwealth before federation in 1901." [...]

"It's a system that leaves us the most over-governed country in the world -- 14 Houses of Parliament for 22 million people," he said. [...]

Mr Fitzgibbon said duplication, inefficiencies, buck-passing and blame-shifting cost the economy $9 billion a year, according to the Business Council of Australia.

"... ideal reform would include the abolition of the states."

Herald Sun July 04, 2008 12:00 AM


"AUSTRALIA is the most over-governed nation on Earth and reforms should include abolishing the states, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says.

"Presenting the inaugural Edmund Barton Lecture at Newcastle University, Mr Fitzgibbon said the country was still paying heavily for the agreements by which the states passed some powers to the new commonwealth to achieve federation in 1901."

The Australian July 03, 2008 12:00 AM


MPs' brainstorm creates whirlpool of ideas

Parliamentary secretary Pat Farmer decried Australia being over-governed, suggesting it might be time to take up the campaign to abolish the states.

Michelle Grattan & Misha Schubert: The Age September 19, 2007


ELIZABETH JACKSON:  Over the weekend the Federal Treasurer and aspiring PM revealed his plans for what he calls 'recasting federalism':

LOUISE YAXLEY: Peter Costello has floated the idea of a drastic change to the national system so that the Commonwealth would strip the states of all power to levy taxes or charges. He says then the Federal Government would have full responsibility for the economy.

He's told the ABC's Sunday Profile program that the states should concentrate on delivering services like health and education.

PETER COSTELLO:"I don't think federalism is working for Australia. Federalism was good for the time in 1900, but is failing Australia now.

"You can either go back and try and make federalism work with sovereign state governments taking larger responsibility, or you can move, as I believe we will, to a national framework with states increasingly becoming service deliverers, working more as partners to federal or national objectives."

ABC-AM Monday, 3 July , 2006  08:00:00


John Cherry

"The Australian Democrats very first constitutional reform policy back in 1978 called for the abolition of the states and the development of national, regional and local governments instead. And, we have kept that policy ever since.

"Indeed, in 1988, we persuaded the Hawke Government to include the recognition of local government in the national constitution as a means of starting that process. Unfortunately, our modest proposal was voted down in that year's disastrous referendum. "

Speech to the Beyond Federal: Visioning a Future without State Governments Conference
Saturday, July 10, Mooloolaba, Qld


In a broadcast address last night, Mr Menzies, MP, said that there were 2 ways of securing unification in Australia. One was by abolishing State Parliaments, and the other by conferring unlimited legislative powers on the Commonwealth Parliament, which would leave State Parliaments standing but would give the Commonwealth a sort of over-riding jurisdiction and would enable it to take over State functions as it thought fit. If State Parliaments were abolished, a system of government rather like that of Great Britain, but in a country many times the size of Britain, would operate.

The Argus Saturday 3 October 1942


In one of Chifley’s few speeches in the short term of the 11th parliament (1928–31), he came out strongly in defence of coal miners whose wages and conditions were being reduced by mine owners. Chifley was a strong opponent of the Bruce government’s approach to Commonwealth–State powers. SM Bruce and his coalition partner, deputy Prime Minister Earle Page, saw the States as the proper holders of contested powers. Chifley was an avowed centralist. He not only wanted to make the Constitution easier to alter, he proposed to abolish the States altogether. To Chifley, only then would the ‘seeds of national unity have at last come into flower’.

National Archives of Australia: Your story, our history:


27 May 2009

FOR: Michael Costa, Professor AJ Brown, Senator Barnaby Joyce

AGAINST: Professor Anne Twomey, Professor Geoff Gallop, Professor Greg Craven

1 hour video watchable/downloadable.

"There have been numerous proposals to reform Australia's government structures, both prior to and since Federation in 1901, including calls for New Colonies and New States, Unification plans, Regional Government models spanning across the federal-unitary continuum, and proposals to transfer functions between Commonwealth and State governments, such as the modern day attempts by the Commonwealth government to establish a national Industrial Relations system. But while several functions have been transferred from the States to the Commonwealth since Federation, major changes sought by supporters of New States, Regional Governments and Unification have never been achieved. [...]

"It is estimated that Unification and some Regional Government models could achieve financial benefits in the order of five to ten per cent in both public and private sectors and the economy as a whole, which, in June 2002 dollar terms, would amount to some $15 billion to $30 billion per annum in the public sector, $25 billion to $50 billion in the private sector, and hence $40 billion to $80 billion per annum across both public and private sectors and the entire Australian economy. It is also estimated that for several functions, including education and health, unitary national systems under Commonwealth control could generate significant financial benefits, whereas for other functions, notably transport and communications, national systems could prove more costly."

Doctoral Thesis 2007


(Australia needs to) "either redefine or forge a new role for the states, or abolish them.

"This could include a redrawing of boundaries on a better community of interest. This is particularly the case between Queensland and NSW," Mr Beattie said. This realisation, he said, was one of the reasons he had amalgamated smaller councils in Queensland to create powerful regional councils. This would, in the long term, erode the power of the state government and pave the way for a new structure of government for Australia which would reduce duplication and provide better government services." SID MAHER  from: The Australian  January 02, 2013 12:00 AM

"Of course you would be better off without the states," the former prime minister told The Australian in a wide-ranging interview to coincide with the release of cabinet documents from his first two full years as prime minister.

GRAPHIC: 1984-85 timeline

"We have a set of governments that represent the meanderings of the British explorers over the face of the continent over 200 years ago. They drew lines on a map and then said that is how Australia is going to be governed. If you were drawing up a system of government for Australia today, in ideal terms, what we have got now is the last thing you would have." by: Troy Bramston from: The Australian January 01, 2013 12:00AM 63 comments

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