On 29 May 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the Council of Australian Government (COAG) will cease and a new National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) will be formed, with National Cabinet at the centre of the NFRC.

More information is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

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 several COAG Councils:

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 Handbook for COAG Councils Secretariats PDF | Handbook for COAG Councils Secretariats DOCX gives advice to Councils and their secretariats about the COAG Council system, including best practice 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 Ministerial Councils

Commonwealth, state and territory ministers also meet to discuss and progress areas of shared interest outside the formal COAG Council system.