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Author Topic: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie  (Read 4699 times)

Offline verbatim9

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Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« on: February 20, 2016, 01:13:35 PM »
Peter Beattie suggests scrap the states. : http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/former-queensland-premier-peter-beattie-suggests-scrapping-states-in-new-book-20160217-gmwrln.html

The states should hand over control of Daylightsaving, Retail, Liquor and Hospitals first. 👍 Then roads and Public Transport, Education etc.....
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 01:33:25 PM by verbatim9 »

Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 08:13:25 PM »
There are other countries that don't have states, but regional councils if you like.

I don't really see what the purpose is. It is effectively increasing the number of states, while shrinking their area size and financial capacity.

That makes no sense!

Instead of dealing with six states and two territories, you now have to deal with 21 regional councils.

The Federal Government was meant to have a limited role, providing things that only a national government could do - defence, immigration etc.

For example, health and education don't rate a mention in the Australian Constitution.

Much of this mess has come about because over time powers have been slowly centralised in Canberra. Because that's where the money is.

Anything that needs to be built needs Federal Government approval, by simple virtue of funding. It shouldn't be that way.

I'd rather see fixing up who does what at which level, and reforming the tax powers as well. States and Territories should primarily be

funded from land taxes.
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 08:26:06 PM »
Nearly every country with a bigger economy than ours has more complicated governance than us.  The existence of states and territories is consistently overblown as a problem.

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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 10:20:03 PM »
By the way the map is only an example off the net. Not my map lol.

There are problems at the moment! You have Federal/State of which there is alot of duplication. Then you have Council. (3 layers) People can still identify themselves as Queenslanders or Victorians but just the state political borders would go. Regional super authorities wouldn't have control over Police, military, health,  education, roads, Airports and planning, shipping, gaming/liquor, retail, public transport, taxes, Daylightsaving, international trade etc... All this would be done by a federal agency. Regional authorties would look after and maintain water/sewage with help federally, local planning for apartments shops and houses, (but can be federally intervened), cleansing services, footpaths libraries and waste control. Aka rubbish etc.... So effectively 2 tiers of government. Taxes collected federally and distributed according to population and services needed.

NZ, Uk, Netherlands, Germany, all have central governments and regional authorities under them. Some of those elect local councils at the same time as they have a Federal election to save on costs.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 10:51:34 PM by verbatim9 »

Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 11:41:01 PM »

Yes, but you see what is happening in that scenario.

You have gone from six states and two territories to potentially hundreds of regional councils and mayors dealing directly with the central government. It will be harder to form a consensus on things.

There also would be a massive power centralisation at the Federal level, to the point where 'winner takes all'.

There is virtue in spreading power vertically through different layers.

I am very skeptical about this populist idea. We should be looking at fixing problems like how taxes are raised and spent in states and territories, figuring out who does what, and extending the term time in the Australian Parliament to four years.

Federal Government should be doing things that have a national impact and are essential at a national level. National road and rail networks, immigration, defence, health insurance, trade agreements can all be done nationally. There is far less compelling reason for example, the Federal Government to get involved in funding Townsville Stadium. I could understand if it were to hold the Olympics (an international event), but it is not that.

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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 12:01:26 AM »
I am all for changing who controls what education and hospitals/health better federally funded. A federal liquor and retail Act (based on ACT or Victoria). A Federal Public Transport Act. (New) A Federal daylight saving Act. (regain control)

Should be easy to relinquish control of above. The states dont make any money out of it except maybe liquor compliance, but they wouldn't need that anymore because the expense of running health and education would then be fully Federally controlled and funded.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 12:10:59 AM by verbatim9 »

Offline newbris

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 07:44:42 AM »
..NZ, Uk, Netherlands, Germany, all have central governments and regional authorities under them. Some of those elect local councils at the same time as they have a Federal election to save on costs.

UK effectively created bodies similar to state govts due to the ineffectiveness of too much central control.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 08:05:31 AM »
The prospect of getting rid of state level administrations is as likely as regauging Queensland railways to 5' 3" ...
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 08:44:17 AM »
Quote
UK effectively created bodies similar to state govts due to the ineffectiveness of too much central control

This is a very good point. Scotland has effectively removed itself from the UK, most powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Same thing with Wales and Northern Ireland Executive.

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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2016, 12:27:01 PM »
Quote
UK effectively created bodies similar to state govts due to the ineffectiveness of too much central control

This is a very good point. Scotland has effectively removed itself from the UK, most powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Same thing with Wales and Northern Ireland Executive.

Scottland has in depth cultural differences and generally more socialists to their southern counterparts. Since conservative rule Scottland has wanted to split for a long time. Yet Scottland supports a stronger bond with the EU!?


Politics aside I think Peter Beattie has opened up the conversation on Federalism. Definitely some laws and agencies better to be centralised than State controlled. I welcome the conversation and hope it gains momentum.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 12:32:57 PM by verbatim9 »

Offline newbris

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 09:02:39 PM »
Quote
UK effectively created bodies similar to state govts due to the ineffectiveness of too much central control

This is a very good point. Scotland has effectively removed itself from the UK, most powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Same thing with Wales and Northern Ireland Executive.

Scottland has in depth cultural differences and generally more socialists to their southern counterparts. Since conservative rule Scottland has wanted to split for a long time. Yet Scottland supports a stronger bond with the EU!?
...

Yes, and I think that the point. Local conditions are taken into account better by the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies. Representation from too far away leads to problems. According to the British, the central UK govt can be very London and south east England focused to the detriment of northern England and elsewhere in the UK who may have different priorities. Similar to how we have a National Party representing country interests I guess because geographically people are different.

achiruel

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 12:25:42 PM »
NZ, Uk, Netherlands, Germany, all have central governments and regional authorities under them. Some of those elect local councils at the same time as they have a Federal election to save on costs.

NZ is tiny and pretty irrelevant to Australia in terms of governance. As others have mentioned, the UK has devolution. Germany is a Federation and definitely has State Governments in addition to local government, so I'm not sure why you'd use that as an example.


Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 10:59:21 AM »
Time to think Central Government and move away from Federalism

http://indaily.com.au/opinion/2017/01/17/hawke-is-right-its-time-to-abolish-the-states/

Quote
Hawke is right: it's time to abolish the states

OPINION

The time has come to end the complex and expensive Australian federal system of governance and evidence shows the community may well support it, writes Bede Harris.

The Conversation

Former prime minister Bob Hawke supports the abolition of state governments. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

TuesdayJanuary 17, 2017Comments

Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s recent renewed call for the state governments to be abolished is worthy of support.

Labor has historically been in favour of centralisation, while the Coalition has supported federalism. So, Hawke’s position is not surprising. But leaving aside party politics, there are good reasons why Australia should consider this change to its Constitution.



Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 11:51:54 AM »
We need the states. Keep them. They were around before federation.

Highly centralised gov't will lead to Federal Government intervening in local council affairs quite a lot, something that doesn't appeal to me.

Other places in Australia need larger councils. Queensland is about right I think in this regard.

Federal Government should limit itself to truly national issues (Defence, Immigration, Trade etc), and leave the rest up to the states and local councils.

The problem with the states is they are funded by GST. I much prefer direct taxation of property within state boundaries through land tax.

That would keep our pollies directly accountable. At the moment there is a lot of fighting over who should get what slice of GST etc

and it seems to be trotted out every year.

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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 12:10:30 PM »
There isn't any chance land tax could replace a GST, not without massively and unfairly shifting the tax burden to people who do not necessarily have the capacity to shoulder it.  It isn't about preferencing one thing or the other.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2017, 12:43:51 PM »
Well, It's (land tax on residences) already happening in the ACT.
The GST could become Federal, reduce income and company tax to offset.
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 03:00:22 PM »
Well, It's (land tax on residences) already happening in the ACT.
The GST could become Federal, reduce income and company tax to offset.

GST produces a LOT more revenue than property taxes do.  There isn't an economically credible way to wean the states off it short of the tax system becoming even more complicated (ie bringing back state sales taxes or income taxes).  Land tax isn't a cure-all, just a more efficient arrangement for a given level of revenue.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 03:39:59 PM »
It's not a cure all, that much is true, though you can get rid of stamp duty with it. Possibly more.

Payroll tax is reasonably efficient as well.
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2017, 04:22:57 PM »
UK and NZ, Germany Netherlands and France I believe have Central Governments seems to work in harmony with super regional councils or county's. Better for PT planning especially for border regions Coolangatta to Ballina. Can share water resources and electricity resources, more than we do now.

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2017, 05:16:10 PM »
You can get international cross-border train and bus ticketing in parts of the world and we can't even get it between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads!
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Offline James

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2017, 05:34:09 PM »
It's not a cure all, that much is true, though you can get rid of stamp duty with it. Possibly more.

Payroll tax is reasonably efficient as well.

You'll never be able to take away the GST funding from the states.

What I prefer is a Canadian model, where there's a provincial sales tax (PST) and federal sales tax (FST), where the provinces & feds can decide what GST applies too. Ideally you'd have harmonised sales tax (HST) like they do in some Canadian provinces, where some revenue goes to the Feds and the remainder to the provinces. This allows the states to increase their state sales taxes if there are revenue shortfalls, or lower it to attract business.
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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2017, 06:23:27 PM »
UK and NZ, Germany Netherlands and France I believe have Central Governments seems to work in harmony with super regional councils or county's. Better for PT planning especially for border regions Coolangatta to Ballina. Can share water resources and electricity resources, more than we do now.

Germany? Say what now? Germany is a Federation much like Australia. The Netherlands is also in some respects like a federation, and the UK is becoming increasingly more like one with devolution. Few countries are pursuing more centralised governments; it seems that people prefer power is not too far removed from them.

Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2017, 06:54:42 PM »
UK and NZ, Germany Netherlands and France I believe have Central Governments seems to work in harmony with super regional councils or county's. Better for PT planning especially for border regions Coolangatta to Ballina. Can share water resources and electricity resources, more than we do now.

Germany? Say what now? Germany is a Federation much like Australia. The Netherlands is also in some respects like a federation, and the UK is becoming increasingly more like one with devolution. Few countries are pursuing more centralised governments; it seems that people prefer power is not too far removed from them.
Their central governments have overall say on things though (hence can override laws). Lived in the Netherlands a lot more centralised control then you think. Unlike Australia at the moment. I guess the Federal Government may have the power to appoint an administrator if the State was unfit to govern?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_government

Offline James

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 09:16:15 PM »
Their central governments have overall say on things though (hence can override laws). Lived in the Netherlands a lot more centralised control then you think. Unlike Australia at the moment. I guess the Federal Government may have the power to appoint an administrator if the State was unfit to govern?

Australia's federal government has similar powers. Federal law can almost always overrule state law.

The Netherlands is a tiny country which is just over 2x the size of SEQ. There is no need for states, and a good case for more centralised control. Australia is enormous. To put it in perspective, Perth and Canberra are the same distance apart (roughly) as Amsterdam and Aleppo.

You need devolved control as each state has different needs, different cultures and different economies. 'One-size-fits-all' management and lack of autonomy can come back to bite in the form of poor planning and the implementation of strategies which work for one place, but don't work for another.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2017, 09:38:42 PM »
Have to agree with this (James).

NZ was going to be part of Australia, but the boat trip from Auckland to Melbourne back in the day to get to meetings

made that completely impractical.

You have to ask what the purpose is of abolishing the states?

The Federal Government has the tendency to take on more powers as it holds all of the $$$

That $$$ issue needs to be fixed - states should raise their own money.

Feds should limit themselves to truly national schemes.

Think about it - do you want to deal with six states and two territories or 560 local government bodies in Australia and 6600+ local councillors?

You need a very big table for the last option...
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 09:45:47 PM by @Metro »
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2017, 10:08:33 PM »
With Central Governments they generally have branch agencies in each population zone. It's not like they will do all the administration from Canberra for North Qld or Perth LoL! It might be better for regional areas. They might have a major Government branch in Townsville for the North and one in Brisbane for the South etc.... Probably better managed than it is now to be in touch with local issues and regional councils.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2017, 03:15:47 AM »
Well then what is the purpose then if you replace the state of Queensland with the branch of Queensland?
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Offline aldonius

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2017, 10:52:25 AM »
You wouldn't have a branch for all of Queensland though, that's the point.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »
So would the number of branches be more or less than 6 states + 2 territories?
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Abolish the States says Peter Beattie
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2017, 11:31:34 AM »
Interesting article on Centralisation - I am for Centralisation but raising interesting points regarding regional offices.


https://theconversation.com/if-we-scrapped-the-states-increasing-canberras-clout-would-be-a-backward-step-71462

Quote
If we scrapped the states, increasing Canberra’s clout would be a backward step

January 19, 2017 6.06am AEDT

 John Quiggin

Choosing Cairns or Townsville as a northern Queensland capital would set off a political storm, as would new regional governments around Australia. Dan Peled/AAP

If you were starting Australia all over again, you would have a national government and 20 regional governments. That was one of the things I agreed with Gough Whitlam on. … Anything that can reduce or end the duplication between Commonwealth, state and local governments is a good idea. – John Winston Howard (quoted in The Weekend Australian, November 9, 1991)

One of the hardy perennials of Australian politics is the claim that the states are obsolete and should be done away with. This view has adherents on all sides of politics, particularly those in the Commonwealth government with long and frustrating experience of dealing with the states. The latest call has come, not for the first time, from former prime minister Bob Hawke.

On the face of it, abolition of the states would imply a highly centralised system in which the powers of the states were transferred to the Commonwealth. However, few proponents of state abolition accept this implication. Instead, it is argued, the three-tier system of federal, state and local governments could be replaced by a two-tier system with 20 or so regional governments, with a resulting reduction in the number of politicians and bureaucrats.

This idea sounds appealing enough in the abstract, which is how it is normally presented. In practice, however, it is necessary to define regions with natural boundaries.

How would the political map be redrawn?



 

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