Subsidiarity or subterfuge? Resolving the future of local government in the Australian federal system
During Australia's centenary of federation (2001), the author, Local Government Association of Queensland and Courier-Mail newspaper surveyed 1,264 Queenslanders for their attitudes to future constitutional change, including a sample of 259 local government opinion leaders from across the state. The results of this pilot suggest ongoing political, functional and theoretical challenges surrounding the position of local government in Australia. Only 22 percent of local government respondents indicated a preference for the federal system to remain the same in another 100 years, against 70+ percent preferring significant structural change (50 percent seeking regional governments that replace the states). This higher-than-expected interest in change suggests that ongoing national reviews of the position of local government will need to reconsider federalism's values and structures from first principles, including engagement by Commonwealth and states alike with the principle of 'subsidiarity', if they are to deliver any long-term gains.
Australian Journal of Public Administration
© 2002 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at [www.blackwell-synergy.com.]