Monday, May 30, 2011

Storm clouds over the Australian Federation

Just over a week ago in Saturday Morning Musings - the WA royalties stoush I reported on the growing financial clash between the Australian and West Australian Governments. There I said in part that if I was in the WA Treasury I would be advising the Government to hold to their line. I also commented that the results of this dispute may well be critical in the evolution of the next stage of the Australian Federation.

Since then the issue has continued to gather steam. See, as examples, Fiscal Federalism pushed to breaking point and Western Australia shuns Canberra, eyes China.

I will comment in more detail later and also try to put the dispute into a broader context. There is, I think, a tendency in Australia's eastern states still to treat the whole matter as a bit of a side-show. However, to my mind it is actually more important than most of the political issues dominating present main stream media coverage because the outcome may actually change the way Australian Government works.

I also have a personal interest because back in the early 1990s my then research group made a number of long term forecasts about likely changes in Australia including fragmentation in the Australian economy. Some of those changes have not happened, others have happened more slowly than expected, but our then thinking remains relevant.

For the present, I just wanted to record the latest reports.


Just adding another link: Colin Barnett is doing us all a favour by standing up to Canberra.



Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

The wrong place for it, but this is an interesting development, copied from today's SMH:

Germany to end nuclear power by 2022
May 30, 2011 - 12:29PM

Germany will shut down all its nuclear plants by 2022, becoming the first major industrial power to give up atomic power, the country's environment minister announced early Monday.

© 2011 AFP


Jim Belshaw said...

Saw that, David. It will be an interesting case study.