Message from the Chair

The Honourable
Campbell Newman MP

Welcome to the website for the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF). This is where you can find out more about decisions, actions and commitments taken by state and territory governments as a 'united front' on key national policy issues. CAF consists of state and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers. It was first formed in 2006. Victoria was instrumental in establishing CAF and former South Australian Premier Mike Rann was the inaugural Chair. CAF meets from time to time to discuss and resolve important issues independently of the Commonwealth.

When we look around the world it is clear that federated systems of government perform better than others. There are checks and balances on power and, importantly, competition between jurisdictions can lead to efficient and responsive outcomes for citizens. Well-functioning federations have also served their citizens well in economic terms, generally being the high GDP per capita countries.

But of course, there is an opportunity to do better. There are a number of key areas in federal-state relations that need to be reformed if we are to unlock the full potential of the Australian Federation. Roles and responsibilities for service delivery need to be clarified to remove costly duplication, and to align sustainable revenue services with service delivery responsibility.

This year will be an interesting and challenging time for the Australian Federation. The new Federal Government has publicly stated its intention to reduce federal involvement in areas of traditional state and territory responsibility and there will be White Papers prepared over the next 18 months on the reform of the Federation and tax reform.

I look forward to serving as Chair of CAF and working with my state and territory colleagues to progress reforms to make the Australian Federation stronger and more effective for all Australians.

Council for the Australian Federation

The Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) was formed in October 2006 to support and enhance our federal system by providing an intergovernmental forum for State and Territory leaders in Australia. Each State and Territory Premier or Chief Minister is a member of CAF the current Chair is the Premier of Queensland, the Hon Campbell Newman MP.

In 2013 the Council reviewed its operations and reaffirmed its objectives. The Council's objectives are to:

  • work toward common understanding of the States' and Territories' positions in relation to policy issues involving the Commonwealth Government
  • take a leadership role on key national policy issues, including the Federation, that are not addressed by the Commonwealth Government.

List of current members

The Honourable Campbell Newman MP, Chair of CAF and Premier of Queensland

Chair of CAF and Premier of Queensland

The Hon Dr Denis Napthine MLA

Premier of Victoria

The Honourable Adam Giles MLA

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

The Honourable Jay Weatherill MP

Premier of South Australia

The Honourable Will Hodgman MP

Premier of Tasmania

The Honourable Mike Baird MP

Premier of New South Wales

The Honourable Colin Barnett MP

Premier of Western Australia