While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.

Policy report

Closest to the people: local government democracy and decision-making in disaster

Electoral administration Elections Local government Australia

This policy brief argues that the onset of the pandemic has again demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of local government. In particular regarding its capability to deliver routine and emergency services to communities at this time of particular need.

Key points:

  • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the 2020 Victorian local government elections were already set to break new ground. With the entry into force of the Local Government Act 2020 and Gender Equality Act 2020, significant reforms to the local government sector were expected to be implemented alongside the election of over 600 councillors across Victoria.
  • The pandemic has added to the complexity of implementing these reforms and highlighted the democratic complexities of holding free and fair elections in an environment where the campaign activities of a majority of candidates are limited.
  • These challenges have both demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of local government and laid bare the need for greater resourcing for local government to effectively implement the reforms envisaged by new legislation.
Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
Governing During Crises Policy Brief No.6