Basics need a uniform approach


THE release of federal cabinet documents by the National Archives yesterday has revealed enormous animosity between Prime Minister Bob Hawke and his Treasurer Paul Keating.

Mr Keating's plan for a consumption tax in 1985 was vetoed by Mr Hawke who now interestingly supports the GST and believes it could be broadened.

Reflecting on the documents this week, Mr Hawke also took a swipe at state governments saying that they should be scrapped.

Mr Hawke told The Australian: "Of course you would be better off without the states. We have a set of governments that represent the meanderings of the British explorers over the face of the continent over 200 years ago.

"They drew lines on a map and they said that is how Australia is going to be governed. If you were drawing up a system of government for Australia today, in ideal terms, what we have got now is the last thing you would have."

Mr Hawke's observation is absolutely true.

It is almost impossible to find any Australian who doesn't think we are over-governed

Each state was effectively set up like a small country with an over arching Federation for safety.

For many years it took a long sailing boat trip to reach Tasmania from Sydney or Melbourne and there were extremely limited communications, so each state needed autonomy.

No we have the ridiculous situation where health is partially funded by both state and federal governments, education is funded and controlled by states but the Commonwealth has to help private schools who are outside this system.

We have both houses of Federal Parliament rejecting same-sex marriage in 2012 and yet state governments of different political persuasions tried to re-write federal law.

It would seen like commonsense that basics like the legal system, industrial relations, health and education should be uniform across Australia.

Mr Hawke was one of Australia's longest serving and most popular prime ministers and he makes a valid observation about being over-governed.


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