This chapter studies the term ‘co-operative federalism’ and the part it plays in the working of Australia's constitutional arrangements. Co-operative federalism, as practised in Australia, is immanent in the functioning of the federation but has an extra-constitutional dimension. It is designed to serve objectives which go well beyond those achievable by the exercise of Commonwealth legislative power and the separate exercise by the States of their powers. It may well have a tendency to centralize power notwithstanding the intergovernmental agreements and supervisory arrangements involved in its implementation. Every topic which is treated, albeit by consensus, as one requiring co-operative action becomes potentially a topic of which it can be said that it is best dealt with at a national level.
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