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Shared Service Models in Australian Local Government: the fragmentation of the New England Strategic Alliance 5 years on

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In 2004, the New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (NESAC) was formed in a successful effort by its member municipalities to avoid forced amalgamation by the NSW government in its (then) program of compulsory council consolidation. The Armidale-Dumaresq, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha Councils, as well as the New England Weeds County Council, formed a 'strategic alliance' under the auspices of NESAC. Over the past 5 years this alliance of councils has developed a model of shared service provision. However, in early 2009, the Walcha Shire Council dramatically announced that it would leave NESAC. This momentous decision raises several interesting questions and may have broader lessons for shared service provision in Australian local government. This paper thus seeks to augment the existing embryonic literature on shared services in Australian local government by analysing the withdrawal of the Walcha Shire Council from NESAC through interviews with the general managers and mayors of the participating organisations.

Keywords: New England Strategic Alliance; amalgamation; shared services

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Local Government, University of New England, Australia

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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