Local government--Citizen participation


An ANZSOG research paper for the Australian Public Service Review Panel
29 Mar 2019

This paper investigates the strengths and weaknesses of the APS’ current approach to delivering local solutions to communities. The authors argue that a range of services need to be shaped with communities in new, co-governed ways, if we are to see any substantial and sustained...


28 Feb 2019

This publication explains the rationale behind localism and responds to commonly heard objections. It explains how unusual New Zealand's centralism is when compared internationally. New Zealand's councils have limited fiscal autonomy. Their mandate is also much more restricted that local government in other parts of...


30 Oct 2018

This report is about how the right to ‘have a say’ in local government in New Zealand has slowly eroded in recent years. The principle of subsidiarity holds that decisions should be made at the level closest to those affected by them, yet the ability...


6 Aug 2018

In 2018, councils were required – for the second time since the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) was amended in 2014 – to produce consultation documents for their long-term plans. This report is based on audits of the 2018-28 consultation documents. It is a...


15 Jun 2017

This paper describes participatory action research carried out in partnership with eight grassroots Indonesian women’s NGOs.


Report prepared for newDemocracy Foundation
13 Jun 2017

This research project asks what mini-publics contribute to democracy from a systemic perspective, and how that contribution might be strengthened. For evidence, we draw on three mini-publics: the Penrith Community Panel; the Noosa Community Jury (on management of the Noosa River); and Infrastructure Victoria’s citizen...

Working paper

1 Jun 2017

This study explores a new approach to community involvement in planning that responds to contemporary critiques of participatory planning.We conclude the report by providing an alternate pathway that might create more meaningful community participation in the planning and development of the city.

Discussion paper

20 Mar 2017

Despite most Australians living in cities, there is considerably less attention on food within city planning domains, a loose integration of food issues in policy (despite national commitments to international agreements), and a substantial degree of incoherence on food-related initiatives in cities. As a result,...


15 Dec 2016

Almost 25% of all jurisdictional approaches to the Victorian Ombudsman are about local government. Members of the public who complain to the office sometimes express concern that decisions are being made ‘behind closed doors’ or ‘in secret’, presenting this as evidence to support their concerns....

Journal article

30 Nov 2016

While the recent New Zealand local authority elections attracted their fair share of media headlines, the dominant narrative, as in previous elections, was one of declining turnout and whether or not local government has a future. Little was heard about the nature of the role...

Journal article

30 Nov 2016

This article considers public consultation in the context of New Zealand local government. Although by international standards New Zealand possesses a rich culture of citizen engagement and public consultation (OECD, 2015), the quality of consultation presents itself as a problem to local government, as their...

Journal article

30 Nov 2016

The theme of this article is current developments in community governance (see, for example, Rolfe, 2016), but it comes with a warning: this is an area where definitions are extremely difficult and it is easy to become distracted by semantics, rather than focused on the...


25 Jul 2016

This article considers the changing expectations of communities towards local government, and looks at the inherent opportunities local governments possess to appreciate the unique needs of their own regions, and if able to access the right support from other levels of government, to deliver solutions...


14 Feb 2016

This report is based on a collaborative project between RMIT and the Environment Protection Authority Victoria. It draws on qualitative research conducted in two environmental ‘hotspots’ in Melbourne - Clayton South and the Brooklyn Region - by a team of researchers at RMIT University. A...

Journal article

29 Dec 2015

This paper explores the digital divide between urban and rural communities, and how this impacts regional development.


3 Jul 2015

The City of Melbourne’s recent experiment asking citizens to develop a 10-year financial plan is being hailed as a success by those working in the deliberative democracy space. Now one councillor is looking to see what other issues could be addressed with the method....


30 Jun 2015

On Tuesday 30 June, Council unanimously endorsed the 10-Year Financial Plan and accompanying draft Asset Management Strategy to guide how Council manages its finances and assets over the next 10 years.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the plans were developed to make sure Melbourne...

Audio presentation

9 Jun 2015

How would you like to actively participate shaping government policies, not just indirectly through your vote? Citizen juries allow just that. State and local governments have started to use citizen juries to address issues like infrastructure, budgeting or reforming the electoral system. These participatory democracy...

Journal article

1 Jan 2015

By way of a case study of five local governments in and around the Illawarra region of New South Wales, this paper proposes that electronic social network sites (SNS) make visible forms of participatory behaviour to which local governments must respond. Groups and individuals -...


8 Oct 2014

The Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP) has been engaged by the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) to provide Independent Commentary on the reform proposals put forward by the Expert Panel on Planning Reform.

The Expert Panel on Planning Reform’s...



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