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An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is an agreement made between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. While IGAs are not legally binding, they express the commitment of governments to work together on certain objectives or goals. Most IGAs commence as soon as they are signed by the Commonwealth and one state or territory.

When an agreement involves funding from the Commonwealth to the states and territories, this is covered under the IGA on Federal Financial Relations. This IGA recognises that the states and territories 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 sectoral Federation Funding Agreements (Health; Education and Skills; Infrastructure; Environment; and Affordable Housing, Community Services and Other), or through one of the National Agreements.

The Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) is the gatekeeper of the Federation Funding Agreements framework and makes sure that agreements are negotiated and administered efficiently.

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

Intergovernmental agreements

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.
On 7 December 2012, COAG reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by signing an Intergovernmental Agreement for the NDIS Launch
This agreement sets out emergency response arrangements, including cost-sharing arrangements, for responding to biosecurity incidents that primarily impact the environment and/or social amenity and where the response is for the public good.
This agreement was developed to improve the national biosecurity system by identifying the roles and responsibilities of governments and outlines the priority areas for collaboration to minimise the impact of pests and disease on Australia’s economy, environment and the community.