Program Leaders: Associate Professor Robyn Hollander and Dr Tracey Arklay
Federations are in constant state of flux. Which level of government is best placed to undertake what roles and responsibilities and why? What should be shared between governments and how? How should revenue be collected and who should spend it? Would we be better off with a single central government or should power be devolved to local levels or somewhere in between. While these are perennial questions for every federation, the Australian government is offering us the opportunity to think systematically about the answers through its White Paper process. The outcomes have the potential to set the reform agenda for the years to come.
This program brings together researchers to actively contribute to this very lively debate about the future of the Australian federation. Their current research interests spans the federal theory; comparative federalism; attitudinal research; and federal governance and policy.
The Future of Australia's Federation Survey: Australian Policymakers & Practitioners Study
- MEDIA RELEASE: Time for bipartisan commitment to federal reform: new survey results
- RESULTS RELEASE: Future of Australia's Federation Survey 2015 (Federal and State Parliamentarians): Results Release 1
The Centre for Governance and Public Policy is undertaking a first-ever survey of Australian policymakers and practitioners regarding how the federal system works. This project follows the Australian Constitutional Values Survey and is funded by the Australian Research Council as part of the ARC Discovery Project ‘Confronting the Devolution Paradox’ (2014-2016). The first branch of the survey, going to federal and state public servants, will commence in May. The second branch, going to Local Government officials, will commence in July. The third branch of the survey, going to federal, state and territory parliamentarians, will commence in September.
- Information sheet for participants: federal, state and territory public servants, and Local Government officials
- Information sheet for participants: federal, state and territory parliamentarians
Results from the survey have begun to be launched at several events including the Sir Samuel Griffith Symposium 2015 (see above) and also at the IPAA 2015 National Conference: Fed Up Federal Reform: Impacts and Opportunities (link to conference website), where Professor A.J Brown presented ‘Reform of the Federation: What do the people want? What do public servants really think?’ See below for the presentation slides and video.
Sir Samuel Griffith Conference 2016
A People’s Federation for the 21st Century
A National Conference on Reform of Australia’s Federal Democracy
16-17 June 2016
2016 will be a crucial year for the Australian Federation. As the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation launches and tax reform returns to the public agenda, Griffith University will bring together academics, public officials and community stakeholders to discuss a vision for the democracy we want for the 21st century.
This conference will be the fourth in the Sir Samuel Griffith ‘State of the Federation’ series and will invite presentations and papers for consideration to be included in an edited book. Submissions are being sought on the topics of:
• The White Paper on Reform of the Federation: What will it deliver?
• Democratic Reform
• Taxation and financial distribution
• Service-delivery in the Federation
• Improving intergovernmental collaboration
• The place of Australia’s First Peoples in the Federation
• Enhancing community participation in reform
• Environmental Sustainability in a Federation
Below is a Call for Papers and a link to an early registrations form for those who would like to participate.
- A People's Federation for the 21st Century: 16-17 June 2016 Promotional Flyer
- 2016 Conference Website
Sir Samuel Griffith Symposium 2015
Federal Reform in Australia: Is there Life in/after the White Paper
The third annual Sir Samuel Griffith Symposium took place as a special session of the Australian Political Science Association Conference in Canberra on 29 September. It brought together a wide variety of academics and stakeholders for a broad discussion on the status and future of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process and featured some of the first public results of the Future of Australia’s Federation Survey: Australian Policymakers and Practitioners Study.
Below is a video of the Keynote Address, provided by the late Hon. Dr John Bannon AO, former Premier of South Australia and chair of the Prime Ministers’ Expert Advisory Panel on Reform of the Federation, who unfortunately passed away in December.
Keynote Address - Hon. Dr John Bannon AO
Other perspectives were also provided by Professor Alan Fenna (Curtin University), Dr Amanda Smullen (Australian National University), Professor Richard Eccleston (University of Tasmania) and featured several presentations on federal reform including:
- Divided or Shared Power? – Professor Rodney Smith, Professor A.J Brown, Luke Mansillo and Jacob Deem. Presented by Professor A.J Brown
- Intergovernmental Relations and Accountability: A Policymaker Perspective – Dr Paul Kildea, Mark Bruerton and Assoc. Professor Robyn Hollander. Presented by Dr Paul Kildea and Mark Bruerton
- Schooling Federalism: Evaluating the Options for Reform- Bronwyn Hinz
See below for the event invitation and the program.
Sir Samuel Griffith ‘State of the Federation’ Symposium
This annual symposium provides a stocktake and discusses strategic directions for the future of Australia’s federal system of government. It was inaugurated in 2013 with the support of the Queensland Government, and in partnership with the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG).
2014 Australian Constitutional Values Survey
In August-September, the Centre for Governance and Public Policy undertook the fourth Australian Constitutional Values Survey, through Newspoll Limited. See below for results. This survey is funded by the Australian Research Council as part of the ARC Discovery Project ‘Confronting the Devolution Paradox’ (2014-2016), a collaboration between Griffith University, University of Sydney, University of NSW, Australian National University, and Layafette College and the University of Texas at Arlington (USA).
- Australian Constitutional Values Survey 2014 - Results Release 1.2 (October 2014)
- ACVS IV 2014 - Full Questionnaire
- Australian Constitutional Values Survey 2012 – Results & Findings
- Information Sheet for Participants
- Previous Federalism Project news and events
Australian Regional Governance Survey
2014 Understanding multilevel relations in regional governance
This partnership between Griffith University and the University of Sunshine Coast is undertaking a pilot study of the structure of regional governance in New England and North-East NSW, with the support of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Northern Inland and other regional groups.
- Information Sheet for Participants
- Link to Survey (For Participants in the Regional Governance of New England and North-East NSW Only)
- Know More in 60 Seconds: How many levels of Government should we have? (Professor AJ Brown)
- The Conversation: The Federal Constitution Can't Change. So how Do we Get the One we Want? - 1 May 2015 - Professor AJ Brown
- ANZSOG Victoria Seminar Series: 18 March 2015 - 'Better together or happier apart?' How we feel about the Federation and what we can do about it - Professor AJ Brown
- Confronting the Devolution Paradox - Workshop - Montreal - July 2014