Agreements

An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is any agreement made between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments (the states). While IGAs are not legally binding, they express the commitment of governments to work together on certain objectives or goals. For most agreements, the IGA is in effect as soon as it is signed by the Commonwealth and one state or territory.

There are many different agreements that fall under the category of an IGA.

When an agreement involves funding from the Commonwealth to the states for a project, this is covered under the IGA on Federal Financial Relations. This IGA significantly reformed the Commonwealth’s financial relations with the states. It recognised that the states have primary responsibility for many areas of service delivery but that coordinated action is necessary to respond to Australia’s economic and social challenges. Under the IGA on Federal Financial Relations, payments to the states are outlined through schedules to one of five overarching Federation Funding Agreements (divided according to sector), or through one of four National Agreements.

For current and past funding agreements, see the Federal Financial Relations website.

Intergovernmental agreements

On 7 December 2009, all states and territories signed the National Credit Law Agreement 2009.

This Agreement formalises and standardises services provided by the Bureau of Meteorology to state and territory emergency services agencies and allocates responsibilities of the Australian Government, states, territories and local governments for flood, fire weather, extreme weather and hazard impact event management.
This Agreement implements a new framework for competition and productivity enhancing reforms.
This agreement sets out the shared objective of the Commonwealth and the States (the Parties) to improve health outcomes for all Australians and ensure the sustainability of the Australian health system.
In 2013, COAG agreed to a permanent inter-jurisdictional exchange of criminal history information for screening people working with children (‘the Exchange’). The Exchange increases the range of criminal history information shared between jurisdictions and is an important measure in protecting children from harm.
On 2 May 2013 the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and Premier of Tasmania, the Hon Lara Giddings MP, signed the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement.

Council of Australian Governments archive

On 29 May 2020, National Cabinet agreed to the cessation of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The National Library of Australia's Trove service provides an archive of the COAG website.