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Wednesday, 28 October 1970

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) - I want to conclude my remarks, which were interrupted by the adjournment of the House last night, by quoting from a recent book by Professor Sawer entitled Modern Federalism' in which he raised the matter of the nexus that exists between local, State and Commonwealth government authorities. He said: . . there is a tendency for problems to be treated as national merely because they are common to many regions, even though there is no integration involved. For example, it is often said in Australia today that the Centre must begin to accept responsibility for problems of urban planning and redevelopment. However, there is little integration between the relevant problems of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. There is not even any aspect of planning and redevelopment problems in those cities which could be more economically or efficiently handled by a single staff in a single place, and above all not in Canberra . . .

Once aggregative as distinct from integrated problems are thought of as national, then in the homogeneous affluent societies there are very few substantive topics incapable of becoming national' and so the affair of the Centre. 1 suggest that that is a warning that it is not as easy to sever the link between function and finance as is sometimes presumed.

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