10 days until COAG and still no signs of reform

Senator Marise Payne, Shadow Minister for COAG, has called on the Rudd-Gillard Government to provide some assurance to stakeholders that progress on key reforms will be kick-started at the 14 February meeting of COAG.

“With 10 days to go until the next COAG meeting, the Rudd-Gillard Government shows no signs that it will focus on a smaller number of priority areas in order to deliver reforms,” Senator Payne said.

“Ms Gillard should stop trying to con Australians into believing her carbon tax is a “reform” and explain which of the 80 so-called priority reform areas will be discussed at COAG and what progress we can expect.

“The only hint we have of what will be discussed at COAG is Kevin Rudd’s health non-reform; a grab for more control of GST and bureaucratic re-shuffling that some states haven’t even signed up to yet.

“The government has failed miserably in areas like closing the gap in Indigenous health, education and housing, all of which were the subject of ambitious COAG reforms that are not even close to being on track.

“There is a host of other reforms from payroll tax and retail planning and zoning laws to transport and heavy vehicle reforms that are essential to unlocking productivity and cutting waste and duplication resulting from different sets of state laws.

“Prime Minister Gillard has all the cues she needs, from the business community, the Treasury and the COAG Reform Council itself and now is the time for action.”