Regional Development and Local Government: Three Generations of Federal Intervention

Regional Development and Local Government: Three Generations of Federal Intervention Journal Article

Australasian Journal of Regional Studies

  • Author(s): Kelly, Andrew H, Dollery, Brian, Grant, Bligh
  • Published: 2009
  • Volume: 15
  • ISBN: 1324-0935

Abstract: Contemporary Australian local government faces several daunting problems, not least escalating financial un-sustainability and local infrastructure depletion. The main response of the various state and territory governments has taken the form of a series structural reform programs, with a strong emphasis on forced amalgamation. However, widespread dissatisfaction with the consequences of these compulsory consolidation programs has led to a search for alternative policy solutions based largely on shared services and various types of regional co-operation between local councils. This paper seeks to place proposed 'regional' solutions to contemporary problems in historical perspective by providing a comparative account of three distinct federal government initiatives of 'region-directed' policy in the post-world Two era: the 'nation-building' of the 1940s; the 'paternalism' of the 1970s; and 'self-sufficiency' of the 1990s. We argue that, not withstanding the complex relationship between historical circumstances and changing state-federal relations, important lessons for current local government policy making can be learnt from a critical assessment of these episodes of federal intervention at the regional level.

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Suggested Citation
Kelly, Andrew H, Dollery, Brian, Grant, Bligh, 2009, Regional Development and Local Government: Three Generations of Federal Intervention, Volume:15, Journal Article, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3199.

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