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Title: Boardroom Revelations - board members making meaning of regional development governance
Contributor(s): Conway, Mary-Louise  (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), governed by ministerially appointed boards operate within a complex public policy and governance environment. Goodwin and Painter (1996, p. 637) liken it to a 'palimpsest', yet knowing that their metaphor fails 'to capture the dynamic character to the relationships between specialities of different social processes and institutions'. With the rise of neoliberalism a number of shifts have occurred in the way that regional policy has been re-written and regional development activities redefined. It is argued that the 'regions' have been artificially constructed and expected to be a unitary force for development purposes and yet the governing politics and economics prevail beyond the reach of those within the region (Pritchard and McManus 2000; Beer et. al. 2003; Pritchard 2005). Beer et. al. (2005) reflect that 'these regions, it is assumed, will grow as the state economy grows and this policy setting is adhered to regardless of evidence to the contrary'. RDAs, as a regional entity created by state Governments and delegated to take up responsibility for place-based development are immersed in a language which now describes regional development as building innovation, knowledge, clusters, local leadership in partnership with government and the private sector (Tonts and McKenzie 2005) using self-help development strategies (Herbert-Cheshire and Higgins 2004). The effectiveness of the RDAs or 'institutional architecture' nationally has been critically described by Beer et. al. (2003) as lagging behind 'comparable agencies in other countries in their implementation of new approaches to regional development' (Beer and Maude 2002). This study presents the opportunity to hear the voices of those who seek involvement in the governance of the RDAs in NSW and WA. This paper will present a description of board members of three Regional Development Boards in NSW and three Regional Development Commissions in WA, reflecting on their motivations for involvement and the meanings they give to regional development. The 'voices' of board members are used to reflect their views on how they see their role in regional development governance.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Sustaining Regions, 5(3), p. 6-16
Publisher: Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International Inc (ANZRSAI)
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1446-2974
Field of Research (FOR): 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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