De-amalgamation in action: the Queensland experience

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de Souza, SV, Dollery, BE & Kortt, MA 2015, 'De-amalgamation in action: the Queensland experience', Public Management Review, vol. 17, no. 10, pp. 1403-1424.

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While a substantial theoretical and empirical literature has examined compulsory local government consolidation, little is known about de-amalgamation after forced mergers. Following the controversial 2008 Queensland local government amalgamation programme, which saw a radical reduction in the number of local councils, four forcibly merged councils have finally begun to de-amalgamate following successful plebiscites. This paper traces the extraordinary Queensland de-amalgamation process from its inception and attempts to place it in a broader conceptual framework. The paper provides a critical assessment of Queensland de-amalgamation policy development and implementation and seeks to draw broader public policy lessons for structural reform in local government.