The Federation Press

Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform


Over the past three decades, all Australian State and Territory local government systems have experienced episodes of reform of varying degrees of intensity, often involving controversial programs of forced amalgamation. Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform draws upon the insights and expertise of an extraordinary group of contributors, drawn from practitioners with extensive and exceptional ‘hands-on’ experience in local government, as well as scholars of Australian local government. The book seeks to blend the wisdom derived from long years as practitioners of local government with the insights flowing from scholarship.

This book comprises three main parts. The first part provides reflections on the aims of Australian local government reform. The second considers the process of the reforms, while the final part of the book contemplates the future of Australian local government.

There are twelve chapters each written by separate contributors who have distinguished themselves as policy makers, practitioners or scholars of local government in Australia. The methodological approach employed harnesses the perspectives of experts from all seven Australian local government jurisdictions in an effort to provide a holistic appreciation of the nature of local government reform in the Australian federation.

Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform will be of special interest to those engaged in local government and those with an interest in the ‘grassroots’ sector, given the continuing discussion in Australian jurisdictions about the need for ongoing local government reform.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

1.  Introduction
            Brian Dollery
2.  Structural Reform in Tasmania
            Ron Sanderson and Stewart Wardlaw
3.  Intergovernmental Relations Reform: A South Australian Perspective
            Andrew Johnson
4.  Financial Reform in New South Wales: Towards a Sustainable Future
            John Truman
5.  Amalgamation in Greater Perth
            Stephen Goode
6.  Local Government Amalgamation and De-amalgamation in Queensland
            Gabrielle Walsh
7.  Clarence Valley Council in New South Wales: A Successful Municipal Merger?
            Ian Tiley
8.  The Special Case of Reform in The Northern Territory: What are the Lessons?
            Thomas Michel
9.  New South Wales Local Government Reform 2011 to 2014
            Don Page
10. Forced Amalgamation: Lessons from Victoria
            Michael A Kortt and Joe Wallis
11. Effective Local Government Collaboration: Council of Mayors
            Brian Bell
12. Recognising the Local Government Sector
            Chris Aulich


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