An evaluation of amalgamation and financial viability in Australian local governmentPublic Finance and Management
AbstractLike numerous other local government systems in developed countries, Australian local government confronts daunting financial problems, perhaps most acutely evident in the emer-gence of a severe backlog in local infrastructure maintenance and renewal. Australian local government policy makers have relied to an unusual and extreme degree on compulsory coun-cil consolidation as the main policy instrument to tackle the financial crisis. This paper sets out the dimensions of the financial crisis and the attendant heavy reliance on forced amal-gamation and then goes to consider the efficacy of compulsory council consolidation as a means of improving financial viability in Australian local government through the prism pro-vided by eight national and state-based public inquiries into financial sustainability in local government over the past decade. With one exception, these inquiries are skeptical of the abil-ity of forced amalgamation to improve local authority financial viability.
Dollery, B, Grant, B & Kortt, MA 2013, 'An evaluation of amalgamation and financial viability in Australian local government', Public Finance and Management, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 215-238.