The Decmber 2013 COAG meeting.
The Decmber 2013 COAG meeting.

COAG progress slow without commitment

A LACK of commitment by governments across Australia to address big issues including health, education and disadvantage has slowed the pace of national reform.

The warning from COAG Reform Council chairman John Brumby on Wednesday updated the past five years of progress on numerous multi-billion national agreements.

But progress, it seems, has been slow.

Mr Brumby said while most governments were committed to action, the commitment had not yet translated into real change.

The Lessons for Federal Reform report he released showed progress on the big issues had slowed significantly in the past five years, partly due to the global financial crisis.

It found a crucial 2008 reform framework signed by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, was not always followed on new reforms in the five years since.

Mr Brumby urged for more action on federal-state relations, particularly removing duplication between the states and Canberra.

He said he hoped the new report would feed into both the Federal Government's Commission of Audit and white paper on federation reform.

"An agenda of this magnitude does not happen because of good luck and good intent," he said.

"It is clear that some of the agreements need stronger measures of performance and better data, but the most important ingredient needed to embed reform is cultural change."

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