Multicultural Services in Local Government in Australia: An Uneven Tale of Access and Equity

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This paper explores equitable access to local government services and participation in decision-making processes for ethnic communities in Australia. The findings are from the first national survey of local government's response to the needs of diverse cultural groups. Given the current context of profound cultural diversity across Australia, local government is compelled to institute a systematic response to the needs of different cultural groups. Our research reveals a mixed response including some innovative and inclusive approaches, as well as pockets of conservativism and resistance to multiculturalism. Much more must be done to ensure that all citizens are accorded full access to local services and the decision-making processes of municipal government. Access to both is critical in the development of citizenship rights in a multicultural society.
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