White paper push for new division of powers

Tony Abbott is expected to launch a push to change the balance of state and commonwealth responsibilities through the release of a “white paper” on federalism. During the 2013 election campaign, Abbott said the division of powers was “our biggest political problem”, and promised a review: “The objective will be to reduce and end, as far as possible, the waste, duplication and second guessing between different levels of government that has resulted, for instance, in the Commonwealth employing 6000 health bureaucrats even though it doesn’t run a single hospital.” If the Liberals win state elections in SA and Tasmania this weekend, they will be in power everywhere except the ACT, which would allow Abbott to be bolder with his proposals. “It is always more helpful to be working with like-minded people who want to be constructive,” he said.