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Title: Local Government Reforms in Australia
Contributor(s): Marshall, Neil Alexander (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: Local government reforms that were implemented over the period 1985 to 2005 effectively reshaped the municipal landscape in Australia. There were far fewer councils in 2005, with almost all of these offering a significantly wider range of services than they had two decades previously. Many have developed complex organizational structures which embrace sophisticated management skills and well-qualified staff. The internal governance procedures of councils are now relatively transparent; most have set in place consultative mechanisms that facilitate citizen involvement in decision making. The sector as a whole has become an active player in the federal system. Both federal and state authorities have developed partnership arrangements with local government. Boundaries between the three levels of jurisdiction are much less distinct than they were. Yet the reforms have also created a number of problems. Changing profiles in the intergovernmental arena have blurred the functional role of municipalities and accentuated the financial difficulties of some. Changes to the internal governance structures of councils have also given rise to uncertainty about the relative responsibilities of elected representatives and appointed staff, and ambiguity about democratic processes.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Local Government Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Advanced Anglo-American Countries, p. 16-45
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Place of Publication: Cheltenham
ISBN: 9781847200716
Field of Research (FOR): 160603 Comparative Government and Politics
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