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The Australian Federation


Since its inception, CAF has taken leadership in promoting the benefits and enhancing the operation of cooperative federalism in Australia. The benefits of a federal system of government include:

  • checks on power: greater scrutiny of government actions helps to reduce the incidence of corruption
  • choice: people can vote for different parties at national and state levels, and if dissatisfied, seek redress from the other
  • customisation of policies: federalism allows policies and services to be tailored to meet the needs of communities
  • competition: competition between States and Territories provides incentives to improve performance
  • creativity: States and Territories need to be innovative and to experiment in order to compete with other jurisdictions
  • co-operation: the need to cooperate on reform gives greater legitimacy and support.

Between 2007 and 2009 CAF commissioned a number of academic reviews of Australia’s federal system – the Federalist Papers.

Download the Federalist papers: