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Abstract

Australian local government faces severe financial distress. Several solutions have been suggested to this problem. However, the potential of local economic development to strengthen local government sustainability has been neglected in the Australian context. Given both the immense diversity characteristic of Australian local government, as well as the complexities inherent in local economic development, mainstream theoretical approaches do not provide a satisfactory conceptual basis upon which to consider the potential contribution of local economic development to local government sustainability. This paper seeks to address this conceptual shortfall by presenting an approach to the complexities and paradoxes in local economic development in the Australian institutional context by developing an augmented and modified series of metaphors adapted from Bingham and Mier (1993).

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