Wednesday, February 09, 2005

State of concern

Amongst the pro-life, pro-cover up Vanstone agendas currently being put forward by the Libs, I'm noticing a more subtle agenda that would appear to be gaining momentum: the abolition of the states of Australia.

Pope Tony Abbott III claims he no longer believes in Australia's tiered federal system because he claims the states are wasteful and inclined towards socialism, hence his push to wrest control of the public hospitals from the states. Ask Dr Brendan is pushing for a national Year 12 certificate with - big surprise - the support of the Daily Liberal Party Press Release. In the legislature, I'm seeing as a legal editor (well, when I pay attention) various state jurisdictions merging into national codes. Evidence law, laws governing the conduct of legal practitioners and consumer and fair trading law spring to mind.

Could all this be part of a noble vision of conservatives to reduce the level of government bureaucracy and ease the burden on taxpayers who are hit on three levels (if you also include council rates)? Nah. I think it's driven more by the fact that, at the moment (and hopefully still after the WA election) there is a Labor government in every state and territory, and this gives the Libs the shits. They're also seeing that federal Labor is in a lot of trouble and increasingly perceived as pointless. And they'll stop at nothing to destroy their enemies. I've heard a delicious rumour that the Federal Magistrates court - an entirely new court- was established in 2000 solely to wrest jurisdiction from the Family Court and ultimately put the then-head of that court, Alistair Nicholson, out of a job as he was clearly an evil Communist traitor who needed to be neutralised, what with his subversive theories on queer families being real families who should have access to the court and so on.

And it would seem a similar operation is in place there. If you can't beat 'em...Make 'em redundant. I'm sure Tony would be less concerned about the "failure" of federalism if the Kerin government were in power in SA (they almost were), the Brogden government were in NSW (they probably will be after the next election if Bob doesn't get those pesky trains running on time) and Barnett and friends had WA (not unlikely).

Imagining Australia without states is tricky. Do we really want to be part of the same land mass as the area where Queenslanders live? What will we call that cute little piece of dirt opposite Melbourne where all the apples are? Don't Adelaideans feel comfortable knowing there are up to 3 borders between them and Ipswich?


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