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The research aims to better understand how and why the activities of local governments, and their roles in society are valued by communities.

Executive summary

The research investigates:
1. local government’s role as a ‘place shaper’ and its importance in meeting the needs of citizens that drive their attachment to, and satisfaction with, the areas in which they live
2. the preferences of communities for how their services are delivered at the local level and the ability of local governments to offer flexible and community specific service delivery
3. theories of governance, particularly community beliefs about big versus small government and its role in the market, the appropriate role for the private sector in local service provision, the preferred extent of public participation in government decision making, and preferences for the realisation of public value
4. community knowledge of local government, ranked importance of services which can be delivered by local government in different jurisdictions, and attitudes about amalgamation
5. the attributes of individuals which are theorised to interact with or influence their attitudes and beliefs about each of the areas above, including demographic factors, levels of community participation, person values and political leanings.
This report presents the main findings of the 2014 survey.

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