Shhh.... it's a secret.
I'll let you in on the secret only if you promise not to tell anyone else.
State governments are irrelevant and need to be abolished. They are a hangover from colonial days and we simply don't need them.
They don't do anything other than add another layer of administration to our already over-governed country. Menzies removed the power of the states to impose income taxes as an emergency war measure and (surprise surprise) didn't want to give the powers back to the states after the war ended. Since the states lack power to impose their own taxes as they are restricted by the constitution they have been sliding into irrelevance since then. Howard gave the states the GST revenue supposedly without strings but then took away most of the special purpose grants so the states have been whinging about the loss of revenue ever since.
The only taxes that states have left are things like stamp duty, gambling taxes and speed camera/traffic fine revenues. The states have been pushing these as far as they can possibly go but even then they still lack the money and the power to do things so it's still up to the Feds to give them special purpose grants for big projects.
The upcoming referendum question on recognition of local government is probably another attempt by the Feds to try and undermine the states because it will allow them to bypass the states and grant money straight to local councils - like all referendum questions though, it will probably fail.
Haha, I don't disagree.
But if we are to have state govt's, then the role and revenues need serious modification. Remove areas that are of national interest, sorry catching a train from Perth Airport is not one. But things like Health, edcuation especially tertiary and 2econdary, driving licences, car registration is. National parks is probably also an obvious one, after all they are called "National" Parks.
Local road, communter roads, commuter railways, city planning, public transport, water supply, sewerage, HV network etc is more localised. Yes it could be Nationalised so to speak, but matters little if it is or isn't, but thinking it maybe better if regional/state based. But if kept state based, then funding should match needs and needs to be adjusted as such.
I suppose should it all be Nationalise everything benefits such as one commuter rail govt body and they would buy standards, ie Perth and Brisbane rollingstock would be the same, currently is but in future not so. I think SE Regional and interstate rail would benefit from more centralised planning rather than sydney Centric.