Most constructive COAG yet, say premiers

DIFFERENT states, different views - but there was a rare feeling of unity to come out of yesterday's Council of Australian Governments meetings.

Every one of the premiers and chief ministers said it had been a constructive forum, with Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman going a step further and calling it "one of the most collaborative COAG meetings" he had attended.

"And I must say, I've attended more than anyone else at this table," he continued.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Scott Morrison following a press conference with other heads of state at the Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, North Queensland, Friday, August 9, 2019. (AAP Image/Marc McCormack)
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Scott Morrison following a press conference with other heads of state at the Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, North Queensland, Friday, August 9, 2019. (AAP Image/Marc McCormack)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the focus on the country's growing skills and apprenticeships needs was a welcome addition to the forum.

"We have to change the way TAFE and vocational education, non-university pathways, are viewed," he said.

"This is a first-class option, not anything less than that.

"I make these points a lot - the infrastructure in Melbourne and across Victoria, it's being built by TAFE and VET-qualified people.

"We want to see more and more of them."