Council for the Australian Federation

The Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) was formed to support and enhance our federal system by providing an intergovernmental forum for state and territory leaders in Australia to discuss and resolve important issues independently of the Commonwealth.

Message from the Chair

The Honourable
Michael Gunner MLA

Welcome to the website of the Council for the Australian Federation.

I am honoured to take on the role as Chair of CAF for the rest of 2016, and I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues to continue to progress significant reforms through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

One of our key continuing challenges will be advancing sustainable and enduring reforms in the areas of health and education. These reforms will need to recognise the increasing costs of health and education, the importance of equitable and affordable access, and the imperative to target needs in a coordinated, evidenced-based and strategic way.

Progressing reform should both recognise existing inequalities and address them.

CAF will also continue to work with the Commonwealth on opportunities to improve federal financial relations. All governments need to have the capacity to provide and deliver high quality services to all Australians.

The states and territories are working with the Commonwealth on a national competition reform agenda to deliver greater productivity, economic growth and security. State and territory governments have an important part to play in shaping these reforms and CAF will be working to put in place the right policy settings to safeguard the most vulnerable Australians, and give everyone the greatest possible opportunities in life.

The heightened terrorist threat in Australia presents a growing challenge for all governments' law enforcement, social policy, and national security agencies. It requires collaborative consideration of improvements to counter-terrorism capabilities, as well as better understanding of how radicalisation occurs at a community and social level, to implement targeted prevention and early intervention strategies.

Global energy supply and security, including the development of renewable energy technologies, will continue to be a key challenge, and opportunity for governments.

It is CAF's role in supporting cooperation and collaboration across jurisdictions to tackle these nationally significant challenges and deliver the best results for all Australians, no matter where they reside.

Michael Gunner

Chair of the Council for the Australian Federation

About the Council for the Australian Federation

Each state and territory Premier or Chief Minister is a member of CAF. Victoria was instrumental in establishing CAF in 2006 and former South Australian Premier Mike Rann was the inaugural Chair.

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.