Local Government in Tasmania: Reform and Restructuring

“…success of amalgamation and reform in local government has been strongly influenced by the degree of local government involvement and support in the reform process, lessons that have wider application.”

Tasmania has a long history of failed attempts at restructuring local government boundaries yet managed a major reform process of ‘modernisation’ between 1990 and 1993 that incorporated major changes to council operations together with a restructuring of boundaries and a reduction from 46 to 29 councils. This process can be compared with a recent attempt to reduce further the number of local governments. In April 1997 the Liberal Premier announced reforms (‘Directions for Tasmania’) that led to a further reduction in the number of councils.

This process collapsed following legal challenges and the proroguing of parliament prior to the 1998 state election. The defeat of the Liberal government saw the abandonment of the proposed amalgamations and establishment of ‘partnerships’ between the new ALP state government and councils. This paper compares the 1990–93 and 1997–98 reform processes and evaluates the outcomes of the amalgamations in 1990–93.

Published in Australian Journal of Public Administration | M. Haward | 2000, https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Local-Government-in-Tasmania%3A-Reform-and-Haward-Zwart/3e6945e9174baeba7f980bea32e451433d7bf3ae, https://consensus.app/details/argues-success-amalgamation-reform-government-strongly-haward/b0adf2a4c71d5598bf71b0acd2046dfb/