Should we abolish the States?

18 February 2013

Professor Anne Twomey addresses the question as to whether Australia is over-governed?

In a panel appearance on Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise, Professor Twomey says where there are issues that are national in nature and where states choose to allow the Commonwealth to legislate on them, such as terrorism, the states can sensibly cooperate with the Commonwealth and allow that to happen.

However, in relation to the concept of complete decentralisation, there are important ramifications.

"One of the problems of creating regional governments and replacing state governments with them is you then take away the closenessof the people to local government - by pushing local government into regional government, local issues do not get treated by people you knowof your local community.

"In turn, if you're pushing down from the states by getting rid of state governments and creating regional governments, you then expect these new regional govenrments to run state services such as the police force schools and hospitals.

"If you have 50 or 60 of these regional governments in Australia it then leads to all sorts of issues associated with cooperation.

"When a Commonwealth deals with six states it's feasible.

"However, if you're dealing with 50 or 60 regional governments then you have problems with issues that need to be dealt with nationally."

View the footage - Is Australia over-governed? - Channel 7

Contact: Greg Sherington

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