The Role of Local Government for a Contemporary Victorian Community

Dale, Catherine (2008) The Role of Local Government for a Contemporary Victorian Community. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


In this thesis the role of Victorian local government has been explored from a community perspective. Often referred to as the sphere of government closest to the people, this dissertation has explored the potential for local government to positively impact on residents’ quality of life and provide opportunities for citizen engagement and participation in key issues and within a diversity of fields. As a level of government it is contended that Victorian local government has six roles: democratic; governance; service provision; community building; advocacy and community planning. These roles have been reviewed from the following perspectives: the context within which Victorian local government undertakes these roles; the limitations or barriers that impede achievement of these roles; how these roles benefit the community and what proposals could be introduced to enhance their implementation. The examination of Victorian local government’s role has also been examined within its historical, political and financial context. A qualitative research method was utilized in this thesis. The relevant literature has been examined and discussed within the context of the four perspectives as listed above. Thirty-one in-depth, semi-structured interviews with opinion leaders were undertaken and analyzed. As a result of the research for this thesis a number of key recommendations have been identified that would progress the effectiveness of Victorian local government’s role. These recommendations focus on the enhancement of local government’s image, increased facilitation of citizen engagement, a review of the legal and political framework within which local government operates and in particular local government’s relationship with the state government, enhancement of local government’s financial capacity, changes to the electoral structure, additional training for elected representatives and senior officers, the evelopment of a range of performance indicators, the need for local government to operate on a more regional basis and a review of organizational structures.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords local government, Victorian community, governance, service provision, community development, advocacy
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