The prime focus of this report is governance. Whole-of-government is the currently favoured administrative design. The previous section discussed the fundamental difficulties that afflict present whole-of-government arrangements. In this respect, Australian experience matches that of other jurisdictions, which have tried whole-ofgovernment and found it wanting. In its place, a number of new or supplementary frameworks have been introduced to shift the locus of choice and decision away from highly centralised arrangements towards more localised contexts. This is reflected both in the Total Place initiatives in England and in the attention to place-based approaches in current OECD work, which in turn reflects developments in particular states. In both cases, the drastic cuts in public spending following the 2008 GFC have coloured implementation (e.g. Crowe, 2011). Also relevant are 'learning-by-doing' approaches which offer a new accountability framework to reconcile national concerns with local initiative and freedom of action. Finally, imaginative 'place-based' developments, covering the provision of otherwise threatened local services and the realisation of efficiencies through collaboration between authorities at the local level, are also evident in Australia. These are detailed in a comprehensive report on local government (RAPAD, 2007). These varied governance design are reviewed in turn. A concluding section explores the consistency of these approaches with recent official reviews of the public sector in Australia.
The remoteFocus Compendium: The Challenge, Conversation, Commissioned Papers and Regional Studies of Remote Australia
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