COAG Councils play an important role in supporting COAG and allowing 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
- Law, Crime and Community Safety Council
- Education Council
- Health Council
At its meeting on 13 December 2013, COAG streamlined the COAG Council system from 22 Councils to eight focussed on its highest priorities.
A review of the COAG Council System in mid-2015 found a continuing need for the current 8 COAG Councils given their alignment with and support for COAG current and newly emerging priorities.
Membership and Operations
The members of the Councils are the Commonwealth and state and territory ministers with responsibility for the respective subject matters. Councils have either Commonwealth or rotating chairs and are supported by a secretariat and, where relevant, senior officials and or/working groups.
Councils are responsible for their own management, which are informed by terms of reference and work plans. The Guidance on COAG Councils gives advice to COAG 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. The COAG Best Practice Regulation Guide gives advice on these requirements.