Australia does not need three levels of government. Nor does it need as many parliamentarians and public servants as we now have.
Having said this, it is hard to change the Australian Constitution by saying, “Let us sack all State Governments.” We have to stick with the concept of States. So, the only solution is to say, “Let’s have more States, so long as Local Governments cease to exist.”
Local Governments are not part of the Constitution so there is no legal hurdles there. Besides which, most of them are too small to be financially viable and administratively efficient.
Therefore, we can create about 50 States by each existing State ceding territory. This will be a good way to proceed so long as new and old States are given give greater powers than currently exist.
They must have power to provide all services needed at the local level and they must be funded, totally and adequately, by the Commonwealth who would retain sole taxing powers, but stay out of service delivery except to set minimum standards for matters such as a National Education Curriculum etc.
The Feds would handle only those matters that are truly national and this would include designated national roads & railways.
Existing States would retain their Parliaments and some of their public servants, but would govern only a capital city and a designated territory around it.
Each of the new States would designate a regional city as its Capital and establish the smallest possible Parliament and Public Service, using existing local government buildings.
Each State would elect by preferential voting one Senator only who would serve the same term as a Federal MP instead of two terms that Senators now have. This will remove the current system of electing party hacks to the Senate or wild card Senators who get about 500 votes plus a lot of fluke preferences.
So places like Launceston, Townsville, Tamworth, Alice Springs, Toowoomba etc will become State Capitals, decentralising Australia in a manner never before envisaged.
Crucially, no State Parliament will have an Upper House. Governments will be elected to govern and, if they fail, they get tossed out at the next election. The Senate in Canberra will be the only remaining house of review in the nation, solely because its too hard to remove from the Constitution, but there will be about 30 less Senators.
Let’s start to do it now. The cost of government will be massively reduced, services will be delivered closer to the people by small governments that understand the needs of their part of Australia.
We will be rid of a strangling malady called over-government.
Yours at Large
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