Coag Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

7 Feb | '2024

The COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 seeks to amend several Commonwealth acts to update references to COAG and ministerial councils to reflect the cessation of the Council of Australian Governments, known as COAG, in 2020. The Morrison government’s establishment of the National Cabinet and the National Federation Reform Council to replace COAG on 13 March 2020 marked a pivotal achievement in the last government and indeed a core part of the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Morrison government, the coalition realised that, if states and territories were to go their separate ways, Australia would significantly struggle with its response to COVID-19. Be it working together on social distancing restrictions—we all remember those—the vaccination rollout or the Morrison government’s economic plan to keep the economy afloat and Australians employed, the National Cabinet played a core role to keep Australians safe and ensure that Australians were still able to put food on the table. Bringing the state and territory governments to the table with the Commonwealth to work together collaboratively played a necessary role in managing COVID-19 and supporting the Australian economy. The Morrison government’s establishment of the National Cabinet will go down in history as a pivotal component of Australia’s response to COVID-19 and an important vehicle to tackle future sophisticated problems facing the Australian public.

The COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 extracts schedules 1 and 2 of the coalition’s COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 but includes additional updates that aim to make the legislation fit for purpose by updating other bills that have been passed since the introduction of the coalition’s bill. To ensure that this bill has no unintended consequences and that no items of legislation have been missed, the coalition will seek to refer the COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee for inquiry. Subject to the report of the Senate committee, the coalition will then consider its final position on the bill.

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