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Why Local Government Matters

Why Local Government Matters is a major piece of social research on community attitudes to local government by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), undertaken with substantial expertise from staff of the Centre for Local Government (CLG) at the University of Technology, Sydney. The research aims to better understand how and why the activities of local governments, and their roles in society are valued by communities.

The research investigates:

  • What does place mean to people?
  • The role of government
  • How do people want their services delivered?
  • How do people want to be involved in government?
  • What do people think about local government?
  • How do people's personal characteristics and values impact on their responses?

The report is important for Australian local government and other tiers of government, organisations and agencies that work closely with councils. The results are also invaluable for broader debates about reform of the sector, the role of local government in the federation, and immediate local-level issues such as service delivery, community participation in council decision-making, financial sustainability, and the wellbeing of local government areas.

Project links

Article by Centre Director Professor Roberta Ryan 'Communities love local councils but not private service delivery' in The Conversation

Why Local Government Matters seminar video

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Summary report (PDF, 708.99kB)
Full report (PDF, 3.67MB)