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Conference paper

With a dominant focus of economic rationality in development and management operations, interpretations of sustainable development have limited capacity to account for the contribution of social sustainability. This paper examines commitment to and accountability for social sustainability in Australian local government from the perspective of functional council managers. A mixed methods approach was adopted and a conceptual framework employed to examine the consideration and incorporation of components of social sustainability in local council practices. Data analysis integrates descriptive, quantitative findings with qualitative narratives. The study found councils give less of a priority to the social dimension of sustainability, as compared with the economic dimension. Engaged governance, as the procedural foundation of the conceptual framework, was revealed as the component less likely to be considered and incorporated in practice.

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