Scott Morrison cancels Council of Australian Governments meeting

Scott Morrison cancels Council of Australian Governments meeting
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison. Photo by Australian Embassy Jakarta via Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cancelled the upcoming Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, focusing on dealing with internal party matters.

The COAG meeting, set for the 4th of October, was expected to address issues such as funding for Catholic School and public hospitals.

However, the Coalition Government is still in rough shape as it attempts to establish its core agenda following the leadership spill that saw Scott Morrison replace Malcolm Turnbull.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office said that meeting that was planned in October will now be folded into another COAG meeting later in 2018.

They said that this was “consistent with the usual approach” of two COAG meetings annually. The last COAG meeting was held in February.

The Prime Minister personally called the relevant premiers and chief ministers to inform them of the cancellation.

A spokesperson for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed disappointment in the meeting being delayed. They cited wanting to negotiate “a better deal for Queensland”.

One major issue for the Government has been a funding dispute around the Catholic school sector, where the new Education Minister Dan Tehan is attempting to broker an agreement. Because of his own background with Catholic education, it is assumed Mr Tehan will have an easier time than his predecessor, Simon Birmingham, in reaching a deal.

The Catholic schools sector has voiced concerns about reviews into its funding instrument, which assesses the income of parents when calculating how much federal funding to give to a school. The Government is also seeking a new energy policy to replace the National Energy Guarantee that was canned in the lead up to Malcolm Turnbull’s political downfall.