Prime Minister Tony Abbott will use his first meeting with state premiers and chief ministers to start the groundwork for delivering the coalition’s paid parental leave scheme.
Mr Abbott will host his first Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday.
The coalition promised at the election to roll out a scheme to pay mothers who give birth after July 2015 up to half their annual salary for 26 weeks, capped at a salary of $150,000 a year.
COAG will discuss how the plan, costing $5.5 billion a year, will fit in with existing state public sector parental leave schemes.
Mr Abbott said during the election campaign there would be no extra cost to state governments and the national scheme would be an improvement to existing state schemes.
However, he said he wanted to have an “adult discussion” with the premiers about its details.
The scheme is to be paid for by a levy on Australia’s largest businesses.
COAG will also discuss ways to fast-track and fund major infrastructure and boost jobs in manufacturing.
The manufacturing talks had been scheduled well before the announcement of Holden ceasing car production from 2017, but is now expected to take greater prominence.
Mr Abbott will talk to the premiers about his plans for a white paper on reform of federal-state relations.
The prime minister said in a speech when he was opposition leader that COAG had become “a talk shop, not a decision-making process” and the roles of the federal, state and territory governments needed to be better defined.