Abstract: An antinomy is a contradiction between a principle and its opposite, where there is a compelling case for accepting both. This thesis adopts the antinomy of local-state government in Australia as its central conceptual theme, describing it with the following defensible, but contradictory principles that: • Australian local governments are statutory agencies of Australia’s state governments, with no power or authority beyond that which is ascribed to them by the states (the outside-in principle); and • Local governments in Australia are independent agencies whose authority and interests transcend their regulatory powers by nature of their attachment to their local area (the inside-out principle). The central conceptual theme of the antinomy of local-state government shapes the overall thesis, as well as providing the focus for its introduction and conclusion. The thesis induces elements of the antinomy and structures much of its discussion around these key issues. It does not try to prove or resolve the antinomy. Instead the thesis uses the concept to explore and develop its second complex theme - the practical and applied experience of Australian local governments (LGs) as they attempt to deliver beneficial environmental outcomes.