There is an acceptance by individuals and communities that local government is always ‘there’ for a range of local needs, yet it is less clear how citizens identify with this crucial level of government. Why Local Government Matters is a national study that addresses a significant gap in the sector and research about how Australians value local government. This is an important question for today’s polity. The findings help clearly define how, where and to what extent local government can further respond to local needs and influence broader political and public debate in Australia. The project builds upon research undertaken by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) to provide practical support for the local government sector across a number of themes, and utilises the considerable experience in social survey research of UTS and its investigators located in the Centre for Local Government.
Associate Professor Roberta Ryan is a leading public policy, evaluation and research analyst with over 30 years’ experience in Australia and overseas. Roberta is the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at UTS and specialises in new approaches in the application of research to policy, community engagement and sustainability, social and strategic planning, Roberta was formerly a Director and National Partner of Public Policy at Urbis, and previous to that an academic at UNSW for over 12 years. Roberta provides high level strategic advisory and applied policy research for Commonwealth, State and local government in areas including, housing, governance, health, ageing and place making, population forecasting, community engagement, liveability, and sustainability.
Chair: Dr Natasha Cortis