Books

Premiers Make It Happen

Dick Hamer: The Liberal Liberal by Tim Colebatch Scribe, 2014, 520 pages, $59.99 State governments actually don’t do a bad job. This might seem a daring assertion in the vituperative atmosphere of an election season, when polls show a majority of Australians would like to replace them with stronger Commonwealth powers and new smaller regions and when Canberra is once again examining the federation’s workings. The states rarely have the money to provide the services people expect, and things relentlessly go wrong, in services from land-use planning to police, public transport, schools, hospitals, ambulances and local councils. It can seem…

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