National Cabinet here to stay

The National Cabinet—which was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—is to become a permanent forum for federal, state and territory governments to meet and make decisions for the whole country.

Jun 9, 2020

The National Cabinet has been meeting every 2 weeks, to allow the Prime Minister, state premiers and territory chief ministers to work together and make important decisions for Australia.

The National Cabinet was initially created as a means to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic but the focus of the group will now move to job creation across Australia. Experts such as the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee will still regularly advise the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister announced the National Cabinet will replace the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which was the previous forum for federal and state decision making.  When announcing the change, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, said, ‘By any measure, National Cabinet has proved to be a much more effective body for taking decisions in the national interest than the COAG structure’.

COAG— established in 1992—met twice a year; National Cabinet will meet once a month. The President of the Australian Local Government Association represented local governments in COAG; local governments will not be included in National Cabinet.

The Prime Minister has also announced National Cabinet will operate under the same rules as federal Cabinet. This means strict levels of security will apply to all meetings.

Some important councils—taskforce—which were initiated under COAG will continue, such as the Women’s Safety Council, and the Indigenous Affairs Council.