Enhancing Efficiency in Australian Local Government: An Evaluation of Alternative Models of Municipal Governance1

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Broad consensus exists in Australian policy circles on the need to enhance the efficiency of local government. However, the question of the most appropriate model for local governance remains controversial. Quite apart from larger amalgamated municipalities, a range of promising alternative options can be identified that may be able to effectively combine more efficient service delivery with vibrant local democracy, including existing small councils, ad hoc resource sharing models, Regional Organizations of Councils (ROCs), area integration and joint board models, virtual local government, and agency models. This article seeks to identify and evaluate the characteristics of these alternative models. 1 The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Guyra Shire Council.

Keywords: Economic efficiency; local government; models of governance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0811114042000335278

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

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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