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Report on general revenue grant relativities 1999

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Commonwealth Grants Commission


2 March 1999





The Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, Dick Rye, has presented to the Government the Commission's 1999 report on how the distribution of General Revenue Grants between the States and Territories should be decided, and on the alternative distributions that could be used in 1999-2000. The General Revenue Grants are about $22,500 million a year - well over half the Commonwealth's funding for the States.


The report is the end of a very thorough inquiry that commenced with terms of reference from the then Minister for Administrative Services in January 1995. Mr Fahey, the Minister for Finance and Administrative Services, gave the Commission further references in January and December 1998. The members of the Commission who conducted the inquiry with Mr Rye, a former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, were: Ron Barnes, a former Head of the South Australian Treasury; Professor Ken Wiltshire, Director of the Centre for Public Administration at the University of Queensland; and Alan Morris, a former Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


The basis on which the funds should be distributed had not been reviewed since 1993 and the Commission made many important changes to the way it believes the distribution should be decided. However, the changes largely balance one another and the overall redistribution is less than 1.25 per cent of the available funds. If past practice is continued and the distribution is based on data for five years, New South Wales, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory would all receive a greater share of the funding. If governments decided that the distribution should be based on three years data, South Australia would also gain.


The report will be discussed at the Premiers' Conference to be held on 9 April 1999.



Contact Qfficers:

Bob Searle, Secretary of  the Commission 02 6229 8812 (w), 02 6249 6937 (h)

Malcolm Nicholas, Assistant Secretary 02 6229 8814

Catherine Hull, Assistant Secretary 02 6229 8813



[Attachment to hard copy:

A summary of the main findings of the report, including comments on the assessments for each State and Territory.

Held in DPL's Information Files]


[2 copies of the Report held at S 336.185 COM in the DPL]