Local Government Capacity in Australia

Roberta Ryan, Ronald Woods


This paper analyses how effectively local government in Australia performs its functions as a key element of subnational governance. Service delivery and local democracy are identified as the core functions of local government. The analysis takes into account paradigms of public administration, democracy and management, the public organization, accountability and capacity. The concept of ‘capacity’ brings together many of the issues discussed in this paper. Questions of capacity relate to whether local governments are effectively performing their institutional functions, how they do so with regard to principles of good governance, and whether the dimensions of their capacity can be reformed if there was the need to meet additional demands.


Local Government in Australia; subnational governance; functions of local government; institutional capacity of local government, local government governance

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603