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Intergovernmental relations

The Policy Division provides advice and coordinates the Government’s involvement in a range of inter-governmental forums and issues at a national and international level, including:

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG)

The Council for the Australian Federation 

Parliamentary and other national inquiries

International Treaties 

This work requires extensive liaison with staff in other State Government agencies to gather information and develop strategic advice to the Premier from a whole of government perspective. It also involves consultation with counterparts in the Commonwealth and other states and territories.

Council of Australian Governments

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia and deals with nationally significant policy reform issues that require cooperative action across Australian governments. It comprises the Prime Minister, who is the chair, state premiers and chief ministers, as well as the President of the Australian Local Government Association.  

In December 2007 COAG agreed to a new model of cooperation Commonwealth-State cooperation and identified seven areas for microeconomic reform:

  • Health and ageing
  • Productivity – including education, skills and early childhood
  • Climate change and water
  • Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Indigenous reform
  • Business regulation and competition.

COAG is also considering reforms to the framework for Commonwealth-State funding.  

The Policy Division is responsible for coordinating and preparing advice – based on input from all Government agencies – to the Premier on all issues on the COAG agenda. Analysts are allocated an area of reform and work closely with relevant agencies to represent Tasmania on the working groups established to develop reform options and to oversee their implementation.

Council for the Australian Federation

The Council for the Australian Federation was created in 2006 as a forum for state and territories to work together to improve the delivery of many of the key government services  that affect the daily lives of Australians, for example, public education, hospitals, police services, and water.  The forum is used to establish joint state and territory positions on matters of national significance, and as a strategic body that can help shape and set the national policy agenda.

The Council comprises Premiers and first ministers, and is currently chaired by Victorian Premier John Brumby.  

At its meeting on February 2008, the Council agreed to:

  • Harmonise state/territory approaches to driver licensing and registration schemes and senior travel concessions
  • An improved approach to urban water planning
  • Improve vehicle safety standards.

Parliamentary and other national inquiries

The Policy Division provides coordinated advice on many national parliamentary and other inquiries that may have implications across a range of portfolio areas. This involves consultation with relevant agencies and the preparation of whole-of-government submissions.

International treaties

The Policy Division also coordinates the Tasmanian Government’s comments and input on international treaties negotiated and ratified by the Commonwealth Government.  The Division prepares advice and information from the State’s perspective and sends a representative to meetings of the Standing Committee of Treaties (SCOT), a national forum of the Commonwealth and state/territory governments.  

For more information on Australia’s treaties and treaties activities go to:

Australian Treaties Library

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia International Treaty Making Information Kit

Further information

Policy Division
Phone: 03 6233 6541
Fax: 03 6233 2242

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