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Policy‐Based Evidence Making in Local Government: The New South Wales’ Municipal Merger Program, 2011 to 2017

Brian Dollery ()

Economic Papers, 2018, vol. 37, issue 4, 363-373

Abstract: Contemporary public policymaking relies heavily on commercial consultants for specialised advice. In this paper, we examine the problematic nature of this phenomenon by considering the controversial forced amalgamation programme in New South Wales (NSW) local government over the period 2011 to 2017. By way of a critical examination of two key consultant reports underlying the NSW municipal mergers, we show that the failure of this programme to achieve its intended aims is due in large measure to the nature of the externalised advice on which it was based and the manner in which that advice was solicited from commercial consultants.

Date: 2018
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