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Turnbull’s plan to fix the federation is bold – but can he deliver?

Paul Kildea writes in The Conversation (1.4.16) about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s attempts to engage the states in reforms to Australia’s federal structure and financial arrangements between different levels of government. This follows other writers’ contributions on Turnbull’s proposals to amend taxation distributions and responsibilities for areas such as health and school education.

‘The lead up to this year’s first Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting has been dominated by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s surprise proposal to allow the states to collect a share of income tax. Turnbull has called it “the most fundamental reform to the federation in generations”.

‘But the states are approaching this idea with caution, for good reason. They are accustomed to prime ministers talking big about fixing the federation and then failing to deliver. They will also want to know how changes to income tax collection will address the looming crisis in health and education funding.’

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