UTS Centre for Local Government


UTS Centre for Local Government
University of Technology, Sydney

PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007

Level 8, Building 10
235 Jones Street
Ultimo NSW 2007

Short Courses:
Short Courses +61 2 9514 7884

Other Enquiries:
Other Enquiries +61 2 9514 1659

Fax: +61 2 9514 2274
Email: clg@uts.edu.au

2008-2009 News & Events

Archive > 2005/2006/2007 | 2008/2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
6 Mar 2009 2009 CLAIR Sydney Seminar
15 Sep 2008 Steve Martin Seminar
17 Jul 2008 Mosman Workshop on Constitutional Recognition
4-5 Jun 2008 Queensland Civic Leaders Summit
29 Apr 2008 Policies for Economic Development
19 Mar 2009 Partnerships Seminar with Professor Chris Skelcher
15 Feb 2008 2008 CLAIR Sydney Seminar
4 Feb 2008 Auckland Seminar on Metropolitan Governance



CLAIR Sydney Seminar
Mar 2009 | The 2009 CLAIR (Japan Centre for Local Government) Sydney Seminar was held on Friday 6 March. The Centre again assisted CLAIR with arrangements. This year's theme was Metropolitan Governance - Ideas from Japan and the guest speaker from Japan was Akira Nakamura, Professor of Political Science at Meiji University in Tokyo.

Discussion focussed on the challenges that modern cities face both in Japan and in Australia, including current issues in metropolitan governance, infrastructure and planning and community engagement.

For further details go to www.jlgc.org.au.


L-R: Ross Woodward, A/Director-General, NSW Department of Local Government; Prof. Akira Nakamura; Vanessa Chan, Director of Corporate Services, Ashfield Council; Chris Champion, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia; Prof. Bill Randolph, UNSW; Robert Mellor, UTS Centre for Local Government (facilitator)



Steve Martin Seminar
Sep 2008 | On 15 September Professor Steve Martin of Cardiff University visited the Centre and presented a seminar on Central-Local Government Relations: the UK Experience. He outlined the history of central-local relations since the advent of the Labour government in 1996 and focussed on policies such as target setting, outcome agreements between central government and local authorities, and external performance auditing and inspection - intended to improve local services.

Professor Steve Martin in the UTS Boardroom

Professor Martin is acknowledged as one of the UK's leading academic experts on local government policy.  He has been a Director of the Improvement and Development Agency since 2002, is co-chair of the UK Department for Communities and Local Government's Local and Regional Government Research Network, and was recently appointed to the board of the New Local Government Network. He has also been an adviser to the Beecham Review of Local Service Delivery in Wales, the Council of Europe's Committee on Local and Regional Democracy, and the Lyons Review of local government finance.

For a copy of Prof Martin's presentation [PDF, 1.9MB, best viewed at 150%], click here.



Mosman Workshop on Constitutional Recognition
Jul 2008 | On 17 July the two regional organisations of councils covering Sydney's North Shore and Northern Beaches convened a joint workshop to discuss options for pursuing constitutional recognition of local government. The Rudd federal government has invited local government to put forward ideas on a process for moving towards recognition over the next few years.

Speakers at the workshop included Cllr Genia McAffery, Mayor of North Sydney and President of the NSW Local Government Association; Professor Greg Craven, constitutional lawyer and Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University; Barry O'Keefe, a lawyer, former Mayor of Mosman and head of ICAC; and Centre Director Graham Sansom.

The general view to emerge from the workshop was that the likelihood of more than symbolic recognition in the federal constitution was quite small, but that a general requirement for there to be systems of democratic local government could be worthwhile, provided it did not link local government exclusively to the states, whose own future seems increasingly uncertain. For a copy of Graham Sansom's presentation, click here. For further information on local government's aspirations to constitutional recognition, go to www.alga.asn.au.



Queensland Civic Leaders Summit
Jun 2008 | On 4-5 June Centre Director Graham Sansom facilitated the Civic Leaders Summit for the Local Government Association of Queensland. This event attracted around 80 Mayors, Deputy Mayors and CEOs from across Queensland to discuss key issues facing local government and the need to enhance leadership skills and capacity. A particular focus was the outcomes of the recent widespread amalgamations of Queensland councils and the need for effective leadership to bed down the new, larger organisations.

For a copy of Graham Sansom's presentation to the Summit, click here. For a more comprehensive set of presentations, go to www.lgaq.asn.au and click on Events.

Centre Director Graham Sansom introducing Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman



Policies for Economic Development
Apr 2008 | On Tuesday 29 April Tony Jackson from the University of Dundee, Scotland presented "Policies for Economic Development: What Works?" to an audience of experts on regional planning. His paper outlined the key issues that relate to a regional approach to metropolitan governance. Tony is a Senior Lecturer in Town and Country Planning.

Dowload options
Seminar brochure [PDF]
Presentation (420KB) [PPT] 
Presentation + text (36pp 450KB) [PDF]



Partnerships Seminar with Professor Chris Skelcher
Mar 2008 |On Wednesday 19 March Professor Chris Skelcher delivered a seminar called "Partnerships and Performance - Crystal Stream or Muddy Puddle?"  Partnerships promise a lot for public service performance, but do they deliver?  Professor Skelcher used his extensive research into local government partnerships in the UK to explore both the potential and problems of partnership working.  He suggested some frameworks for understanding different forms of partnership and identify challenges for policy makers and researchers working in this field.

Professor Chris Skelcher

The seminar was aimed at those involved with local and state governments, as well as the private and community sectors, who are looking at various forms of public-public and public-private partnerships as a means of improving program and service delivery. 

Professor Skelcher is the Director of Research for the School of Public Policy and Professor of Public Governance at INLOGOV at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Seminar Flyer (PDF- 74KB)



2008 CLAIR Sydney Seminar
Feb 2008 | On Friday 15 February 2008 the Centre participated in the 2008 CLAIR Sydney Local Government Seminar, hosted by the Japan Local Government Centre. The theme of the seminar was Future Intergovernmental Relations - Ideas from Japan, with keynote speaker Mr Toshihiko Yokoo, Mayor of Taku City and member of the Japanese Prime Minister's Council to Promote Decentralization Reform.

The seminar was particularly timely in view of the new federal government's proposals to re-shape the Australian federation, and continuing moves by the NSW Local Government and Shires Associations to negotiate an inter-government agreement with the State government.

Robert Mellor, Program Manager at the Centre, chaired proceedings and also presented an overview of the state-of-play in inter-government relations in Australia, and how likely developments may affect local government, prepared by Centre Director Graham Sansom.

Other speakers included:

  • Mr Kenji Ikeda, Director of JLGC, who provided an introduction to local government in Japan
  • Councillor Robyn Kemmis, City of Sydney and formerly UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor
  • Ross Woodward, Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Local Government
  • Councillor Robert Bell, Vice President of the NSW Local Government Association
  • Stephen Blackadder, formerly General Manager of Warringah Council, representing Local Government Managers Australia.

From L-R: Mr Kenji Ikeda, Councillor Robyn Kemmis, Mayor Toshihiko Yokoo

CLG's Robert Mellor opens proceedings


The CLAIR panel (l-r): Mayor Toshihiko Yokoo; Stephen Stephen Blackadder, Councillor Robert Bell, Ross Woodward



Auckland Seminar on Metropolitan Governance
Feb 2008 | On 4 February Centre Director Graham Sansom spoke at a seminar on metropolitan governance convened by the Local Government Centre of the Auckland University of Technology. This follows an initiative by the New Zealand government of establishing a Royal Commission to review current arrangements for governance of the Auckland metropolitan region, focussing upon the need to ensure that Auckland functions effectively as the powerhouse of the NZ economy and remains competitive with large cities around the world. The Royal Commission will consider among other things how infrastructure and services can best be delivered, how central and local governments can collaborate effectively, and whether changes to local government structures are required. Its findings will undoubtedly also have relevance for Australian metropolitan governance.

Graham Sansom made a short presentation suggesting some lessons that could be learned from recent Australian experience, contrasting Brisbane and Sydney.

Click here for a copy his presentation (PPT-272KB) or for more details contact Graham Sansom.