New Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Photo: Robert Shakespeare
The newest premier, Campbell Newman, wants a new way of doing things in the Council of Australian Governments - and he says the commonwealth should get out of the states' way.
On his first trip to Canberra as Queensland premier, Mr Newman said it was a bit rich for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to talk about cutting regulation.
"They seem to measure their progress by how much regulation, how much red tape, how much bureaucracy they bring in," he told journalists in Canberra, pointing to a big pile of paper that made up the carbon tax legislation.
"We're going to cut 18,000 pages of regulation and legislation in the next six years.
"The current COAG agenda and the way it's been working, positively discourages you from doing that."
Mr Newman said the new Queensland position was one of competitive federalism.
This would create healthy competition between the states and encourage business and economic investment, he said.
He rejected suggestions that widening the gap between regulatory systems in different states would actually make it more expensive for businesses to operate across borders.
"We're all for a harmonised approach to various forms of regulation ... but we're also for individual states being able to stand up and deciding that they want to out-compete other states," he said.
As for cutting "green tape", Mr Newman believed discussions in the pre-COAG business forum on Thursday did not go far enough.
"The federal government, frankly, need to delegate the powers of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to the states," he said.
He complained that the federal government kept "coming over the top" of the Queensland government to delay major resource and tourism projects.
On the national disability insurance scheme, also on the COAG agenda, Mr Newman said Queensland would not be kicking in any of its own money.
"Queensland is in no position to provide funding towards the NDIS," he said.
"Basically what we would see is the federal government should pay for the entire scheme."
But he believes the scheme is important and said Queensland would be willing to forgo the federal funding it currently received to assist people with disabilities.
Mr Newman's government is taking legal advice on whether it can fight the carbon tax as unconstitutional.
He expects to get that in the next few weeks and said he had spoken to at least one other premier about possibly joining together in a High Court challenge.
He also invited Ms Gillard to talk to him about the federal mining tax, which comes into effect in July.
He wanted any super profits generated in Queensland to return to the state.
"If there's a mining project in Queensland that's paying this tax and a dollar of tax is paid, a dollar has got to come back to Queensland ... to infrastructure across the state," he said.
The COAG meeting, at which Ms Gillard will be outnumbered by conservative premiers for the first time, begins on Friday morning.