Amendment To The Constitution Essay Research Paper

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Amendment To The Constitution Essay, Research Paper (-AUSTRALIAN-) by Colum Graham Since 1939, the federal government has various ways, gained power without amendment to the constitution Page One- The words of the constitution have changed very little since federation, nineteen hundred and one. Out of forty-two attempts to change the constitution (by referendum) have occurred and only eight have succeeded. Only three of those eight have had any real significance to the balance of power between state and federal government. However within the great steadiness within the Constitution it hides enormous changes at social, economic and even political levels. There have been great moves in federal balance and the states power is constantly changing. Australia entered the Second

World War with a large array of taxes collected at the same time by the federal and state governments. Tax was in-fact the highest source of revenue for the governments. The federal Labor government at the time asked the states to abandon direct income taxes for the length of the war in return the states would get reimbursement grants so that the federal government could place a uniform tax throughout Australia. The federal government argued with the states that all Australians should contribute equally (according to how much they earn.) The premiers wouldn t comply and in nineteen forty one, the Commonwealth of Australia passed four acts that would impose the uniform tax upon the states. The first act imposed a high income and company tax. The second prioritized the collection

of Commonwealth taxes. The third act was to reimburse the states for the income tax they had lost. And the fourth act authorized the federal government to take control of the tax collection on the basis of defense. Through the nineteen fifty s and the nineteen sixty s the federal government made regular use of specific grants to the states. However these grants were not like the ones they (the states!) received from the federal government for the war, which were untied. The states received these special purpose grants (payments, really ) as a share of the income tax. Through these grants the federal government was able to influence state decisions about areas of state responsibility. The grants were allocated to many areas, such as: land settlement, roads, education, hospitals,

railways, water and electricity etc. Even though sometimes conditions of these payments left the states with a fair amount of flexibility the federal government still was the deciding factor on how and what the states would spend their money on. By nineteen seventy-one thirty percent of these special grants made up nearly eighteen percent of the states entire budget. -Page Two- In nineteen seventy-two Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister of Australia. His government took control of the nation with a new federalism policy, which called for the use of Federal financial powers to implement agendas in areas of state responsibility. Whitlam argued that certain problems of Australian society could only be addressed and solved at a national level (with federal finance of coarse!)

The Whitlam government called for a huge expansion of grants to the states, particularly involving education, health and legal aid. These areas were under state jurisdiction and responsibility. The Whitlam government insinuated that the federal government was to have more to say with the expenditure and the states would have even less room to maneuver financially, appropriate reductions in the general purpose funds allocated to the states From nineteen seventy two to nineteen seventy five, grants rose from thirty percent to forty nine percent and from eighteen percent of state budgets to thirty three percent. When Whitlam was removed from office in nineteen seventy-five, Malcolm Fraser took over as Prime Minister of Australia. He said that he would share the tax arrangements with