COAG: Scott Morrison to hold first meeting with premiers


Prime Minister Scott Morrison will aim for agreements on education and population policy in his first meeting with state premiers.

Scott Morrison's first meeting with the state premiers and territory leaders since becoming prime minister will revolve around school, migration and infrastructure issues.

Leaders will head to the Council of Australian Governments in Adelaide for a dinner with Mr Morrison on Tuesday night, before the meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison has a "population framework" in mind but has asked each of the states and territories to come up with areas they want new migrants to go.

He's also pushing for states to sign up to the national schools' agreement funding model and to the national health agreement.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been pushing for a slowdown on migration to NSW, as Sydney struggles after years of under-investment in infrastructure.

But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says population policy needs to be met with proper infrastructure investment from Canberra.

"You can't talk about pressure that comes from a rapidly growing nation without talking about the services and the infrastructure that define the quality of life and the standard of living that Australians enjoy," Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

For Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews population discussions should go hand-in-hand with infrastructure discussions.
For Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews population discussions should go hand-in-hand with infrastructure discussions.

He said Victoria gets just 10 per cent of federal infrastructure funding, despite being the fastest growing state in the nation and having 25 per cent of the population.

Queensland and Victoria are the only two states that have not signed up to the national school reform agreement, after the majority of states and territories signed on in the past seven days.

Mr Morrison is set to raise the issue of governments paying small businesses on time, and will seek an agreement to settle accounts within 20 days.

The federal government recently made it a policy to pay small businesses within that timeframe, and NSW has done something similar.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to talk about euthanasia, as part of the discussion around aged care, and will again raise the issue of cyber-bullying.

With an NSW state election in March and a federal poll in May, the leaders will receive a report on how to protect electoral systems from hackers.

What's on the COAG agenda?

- Population: States and territories to present their ideas for population and migration, especially to reduce congestion in major cities and boost regional economies. Scott Morrison to present his population framework.

- Health: National health agreement still needs to be signed. Suicide prevention also to be raised as a priority.

- Schools:  National schools agreement (Gonski 2.0) yet to be signed by all states.

- Northern Australia: Update on collaborative projects, such as water and roads, and action to address the high cost of insurance.

Australia's population could hit 30 million by 2029: ABS.
Australia's population could hit 30 million by 2029: ABS.

- Indigenous: Discussion on refreshing the Closing the Gap strategy.

- Elections: Meeting to receive a report on state and federal electoral systems' cybersecurity.

- Aged care: Queensland wants a discussion about its cost and complexity, as well as palliative care and euthanasia.

- Cyber-bullying: Update on progress of states on cracking down on social problem

- Economy: PM to raise issue of governments needing to pay small businesses on time, cutting the period from 30 days to 20 days.

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