The Australian Government's 'White Paper on Reform of the Federation' and the future of Australian local government

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Public Administration, 2016, 39 pp. 707 - 717
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The Abbott Government announced its 'White Paper on the Reform of the Australian Federation’ on 28 June 2014. Set against this backdrop, discussions of the future of Australian local government may provoke a general assumption of what Brown (2008, p. 422), commenting upon the 1974 attempt at Constitutional recognition of local government, termed a ‘set piece party battle’. However, reflection suggests that such a generalisation is misplaced, that the debate ought not to be that predictable and the position of the local government sector ought not to be that passive: If we consider the complexities of regionalism, the potential role of local government is thrown open to broader considerations. We argue that local government ought to adopt a ‘maximalist’ position (Allan 2006) particularly with respect to financial reform.
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