The fifth and final Issues Paper prepared as part of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process was released on Wednesday 4 February.
The paper, COAG and Federal Financial Relations, looks at two aspects of Australia's intergovernmental structure; the institutional framework in which intergovernmental relations are conducted, and the supporting federal fiscal system .
The paper traces the history of the establishment of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) including ALGA's membership from its inception, the role of COAG, the Ministerial Councils and the process and governance surrounding the group.
Much of the paper focuses on Commonwealth-state financial relationships however there is a dedicated chapter on the Commonwealth-local government financial relationship which looks at local governments expenditure, the responsibilities of local government, revenue raising capacity and the level of grant assistance from other levels of government.
The Issues Paper can be accessed on the Federation White Paper website.
This week also saw the first roundtable on the Federation White Paper process convened by the Commonwealth. The two day roundtable in Canberra was attended mainly by NGOs and will be followed by meetings in all capital cities and some regional centres. State and Territory local government associations have been invited to the roundtables.