Australian local government and community engagement: are all our community plans the same: does it matter?
Grant, B, Dollery, BE, Kortt, MA 2011, Australian local government and community engagement: are all our community plans the same: does it matter? Working paper series 05-2011, University of New England, Centre for Local Government, Armidale, NSW, pp. 1-39.
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Community engagement has become an established technique of Australian local government planning and decision-making. However, while several commentators have considered the normative validity of community engagement strategies (see, for example, Grant and Dollery, 2011; Aulich, 2009) and others have conducted detailed studies of particular jurisdictional contexts (Prior and Herriman, 2010; Wiseman, 2006) to date a comparative study of the different Australian local government systems has not been forthcoming. As an initial step toward undertaking this comprehensive empirical task, this paper examines systems of the legislative and regulatory frameworks for community engagement in Australian local government jurisdictions. It is argued that while the characteristics of Australia’s federal system are to an extent played out in this policy arena, such that differences between the state frameworks enables the benefits of place-based policy making to be felt at the local community level.