Local Government: A view from Australia and beyond

By Bill Taylor | 25 January 2019

The further and wider I travel, the more I am struck by the similarity of the challenges facing local government leaders the world over. Of course, this is not to deny that every country and municipality also has its own unique challenges.

This very uniqueness really does amount to a ‘rich tapestry’ of challenges. Based on my own personal experiences, the response to these challenges ranged from the heroic through to the downright surreal – the Scottish council which went cap in hand for a bail-out from newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell (who would later swindle his employees out of their pensions); a municipality in Vietnam which brilliantly juggles the increasing demands of tourism against their commitment to preserve a UNESCO world heritage site; council bosses in Thailand arriving for work to find military tanks on the lawn of the town hall after a military coup; an Australian council where staff are asked for selfies and autographs (a fly on the wall TV series turned the Bondi Beach life-guards into stars).

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