Is conflict between the states and commonwealth inevitable? .
Conflict between the states and the commonwealth is in practice expected and anticipated, causing it to be an inevitable factor of Australian federalism.
However, a degree of conflict between state governments and federal government is not only unavoidable, but also healthy. Quite often the two will have differing opinions on how policy should be formatted or implemented and often both parties can claim responsibility for policy with a level of justification.
However the rhetoric of federalism can cause the public to become ignorant to whose fault an issue is, as the states claim it's the commonwealths fault and vice versa. .
The issue of finance is one of the major issues causing conflict between state and federal governments. .
The states can pass the blame to the commonwealth as to why policy hasn't been passed on a certain issue, claiming they didn't receive the funding to execute policy, however the commonwealth retaliate claiming they offered the funding however the states chose not to accept. This could most likely be due to the fact that the funding was offered in the form of a tied grant, and the state at hand didn't want the commonwealth to gain power in the area the tied grant was offered.
Without untied government grants, it is hard for the states to generate their own policy, causing them to backlash, and prolong the formation of policy so it doesn't become federal. .
This in its self slightly contradicts the basis of our democracy, as we elect federal government to implement the necessary policy given the political climate, however the states can affect the powers of the commonwealth because they have control of some policy and can chose to ignore federal recommendations, this scenario is far more likely at the present time due to the fact that the states are Labour governed, and Liberal at a federal level. .
Conflict also derives from issues regarding the commonwealth's power over income tax.