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    9.5 National Federation Reform Council

    The National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) comprises the National Cabinet, CFFR and the Australian Local Government Association. The NFRC meets annually to discuss priority national federation issues. The NFRC is not bound by the Federal Cabinet Handbook.

    9.5.1 National Federation Reform Council Taskforces

    The NFRC may establish Taskforces to focus on national priorities. Taskforces will report to the NFRC and will comprise Ministers with portfolio responsibilities for issues being pursued.

    9.5.2 Queensland’s membership

    The Premier and the Treasurer will represent Queensland on the NFRC.

    Queensland’s representation on NFRC Taskforces will be determined by the Premier based on the nature of the reform work being pursued.

    9.5.3 Proactive engagement

    NFRC Taskforces are a key opportunity for promoting Queensland policy positions, supporting cross-jurisdictional information sharing and building relationships to support Queensland’s strategic agenda. Ministers should adopt a proactive position to advance Queensland’s strategic policy objectives with the Federal Government and other states and territories. This includes:

    • strengthening Queensland’s position by proactively shaping terms of reference, work plans and agendas to ensure Queensland’s priorities are pursued
    • working with jurisdictions to find common ground in agenda items that deliver a net benefit to Queenslanders, and
    • early engagement with other Queensland Ministers to ensure consistency in messaging.

    9.5.4 Decision-making authority

    NFRC Taskforces

    It is the responsibility of the lead Minister and their agency to ensure they are prepared to represent the Queensland Government at NFRC Taskforce meetings.

    A negotiating framework should be developed by the lead Minister’s agency to guide Queensland participation in reforms being progressed by NFRC Taskforces. Early consultation with Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) should be undertaken to determine the approval pathway for the negotiating framework.

    Where any decision being made at the NFRC Taskforce will impact on another Minister’s portfolio, it is the responsibility of the lead Minister to consult with the affected Minister.

    The lead Minister is responsible for seeking Queensland’s Cabinet authorisation for any substantive binding decisions being made by the Taskforce.

    Where it is not possible to seek Cabinet approval, the relevant Minister should seek approval from the Premier (preferably in writing) for the proposed position to be taken.

    Where new issues or alternate proposals arise at meetings which the lead Minister believes require further Cabinet or CBRC consideration or consultation with the Premier is required, it is the responsibility of that Minister to make this position clear at the NFRC Taskforce meeting.

    The lead Minister should ensure the Premier and Treasurer are kept regularly updated in writing on the progress of the Taskforce’s work including any decisions made by this body. The Premier will advise the Minister if an update should be provided to Cabinet.

    Where decisions require implementation in another Minister’s portfolio, it is the responsibility of the lead Minister to communicate the decision to the relevant Minister for implementation.

    9.5.5 Information security

    It is the responsibility of Ministers and agencies to maintain confidentiality of NFRC-related material. These documents should be treated as Cabinet-in-Confidence and only circulated on a need-to-know basis.

    9.5.6  National Federation Reform Council coordination

    DPC, in collaboration with Queensland Treasury, will coordinate the Premier and Treasurer’s participation in the NFRC.

    The relevant agency will coordinate their Minister’s participation at NFRC Taskforce meetings.

    The relevant agency should ensure DPC is kept informed of the timing, agenda, potential substantive issues for discussion, and decisions, for each NFRC Taskforce meeting as soon as the information is available. 

    9.5.7 National Federation Reform Council decisions and implementation

    The Premier is responsible for ensuring Queensland Cabinet is kept informed of relevant NFRC decisions. Following a NFRC meeting, the Premier will advise relevant Ministers of key decisions requiring implementation and/or bring a Matter to Note to Queensland Cabinet, where appropriate, to ensure visibility of key NFRC decisions.

    DPC is responsible for monitoring implementation of NFRC decisions in Queensland.

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    Last updated:
    25 May, 2021
    Last reviewed:
    25 May, 2021