ACELG report affirms value of local government

A new report about what Australians value in their local governments was launched at the Australian Local Government Association 2015 National General Assembly of Local Government.

Why Local Government Matters is a major piece of social research on community attitudes to local government, undertaken by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) with substantial expertise from staff of the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS:CLG).

The research aims to better understand how and why the activities of local governments and their roles in society are valued by communities.

“The view of local government as being confined to roads, rates and rubbish is long gone, in both practice and in terms of what communities expect,” Director of ACELG and UTS:CLG and project leader Associate Professor Roberta Ryan said.

“Australians want local government to be responsible for a diversity of activities in their local community, with planning for the future being among the most important.

“There is enormous support for government to deliver services for a healthier and fairer society, and for the proposition that decisions about services should not be made just on value for money.

“According to our research, Australians overwhelmingly (93 percent) want to be involved with government in making decisions about what services are delivered in their local area.”

The report will be important for Australian local government and other tiers of government, organisations and agencies working closely with councils.

The results will be 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.

The report can be found at