Running The Big Smoke: A Critical Analysis of the KPMG (2008) Approach to Local Government Reform in the Sydney Metropolitan Area

“Following a critique of the current local governance arrangements in the greater Sydney metropolitan area by Blakely and Hu (2007), an alternative approach to the status quo has been advocated in Governance Arrangements for Sydney’s Local Government Authorities (KPMG, 2008). This approach is aimed at rescaling local governance in Sydney to achieve greater global competitiveness, secure better communities of interest, and ensure long-run financial sustainability.

The analysis in this Report has formed the basis for policy proposals calling for inter alia a ‘reconfiguration’ of small local councils in the Sydney metropolitan area into larger units. This paper seeks to provide a critical evaluation of Governance Arrangements for Sydney’s Local Government Authorities. It demonstrates that the empirical analysis conducted in this Report does not support the policy conclusions drawn by its authors for the amalgamation of small councils into larger municipalities. Moreover, the paper argues that the Report should have employed different arguments to those it invoked in support of the establishment of a regional authority for greater Sydney.”

Published in The Australasian Journal of Regional Studies | B. Dollery | 2012,,