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Why Local Government Matters in South Australia

Funding or Partner Organisation: Local Government Association of South Australia

Start year: 2015

Summary: What do people really think about local government? What are community views about amalgamation? Would residents be happy to pay higher rates for better services? To enable informed responses to these types of questions the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has undertaken a major research project: Why Local Government Matters. This social research strengthens our understanding of community attitudes to local government. It investigates how and why the activities of local government, and its role in society, are valued by communities. The research covers a range of areas including community views about what is important about where they live, how they want to engage in decision-making, service delivery preferences, what role they would like to see local government play and what they think about local government amalgamations. The research instruments developed for this project will build on the results of the national survey to ensure that the data generated will enable the sector to understand how communities perceive these challenges and enable the sector to respond appropriately. Results will enable LGA SA and Councils in South Australia to bench-mark community attitudes across a range of issues and use survey data to inform advocacy and policy making across the sector. This project will begin by extracting South Australian data from the national survey on Why Local Government Matters. This data will then be augmented through the implementation of a tailored online panel and focus groups which will address State specific challenges. These research tools will be used to unpack and provide in depth information on why local government matters to South Australians.


Ryan, R, Hastings, C & Alvarez, T 2016, Why Local Government Matters in South Australia.

Keywords: local government, community, local government reform, why local government matters, local democracy, participation

FOR Codes: Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified, Structure, Delivery and Financing of Community Services, Structure, delivery and resourcing