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:
- Federal Financial Relations Council
- Disability Reform Council
- Transport and Infrastructure Council
- Energy Council
- Skills Council
- Council of Attorneys-General
- Education Council
- Health Council
- Joint Council on Closing the Gap
- Indigenous Affairs Council
- Australian Data and Digital Council
- Women’s Safety 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 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.