COAG is supported by inter-jurisdictional, ministerial-level Councils. Collectively, these Councils constitute the COAG Council system.
Role of COAG Councils
COAG Councils support COAG and allow it to focus on key national priorities. Councils provide a forum for intergovernmental collaboration and decision-making. They progress COAG priorities and referrals of work, along with other issues of national significance. In addition, the Councils develop policy reforms and other advice for COAG consideration, and oversee the delivery and review of reforms agreed by COAG.
There are eight COAG Councils:
- Federal Financial Relations Council
- Disability Reform Council
- Transport and Infrastructure Council
- Energy Council
- Industry and Skills Council
- Council of Attorneys-General
- Education Council
- Health Council.
There is one time-limited Indigenous Affairs COAG Council.
Membership and Operations
The members of COAG Councils are the ministers (of the Commonwealth and each state and territory) with the relevant subject responsibility. Membership may also include the President of the Australian Local Government Association when appropriate. Councils have either Commonwealth or rotating chairs. They are supported by a secretariat and, where relevant, senior officials and or/working groups.
All the Councils are accountable to COAG through their chair. They are responsible for their own management, guided by terms of reference and work plans. The Guidance on COAG Councils gives advice to Councils and their secretariats about the COAG Council system, including operating procedures and reporting requirements.
COAG Councils are also responsible for developing Regulation Impact Statements to assess the likely impacts of new regulations required by COAG decisions.
Other Intergovernmental Councils
Commonwealth, state and territory ministers also meet to discuss and progress areas of shared interest outside the formal COAG Council system.