This paper provides an empirical account of public participation within an Australian local government context. It seeks to determine the ways civic discourse is articulated and how (if at all) this facilitates civic connection with local government. Through in-depth interviews and focus groups with local citizens from the Victorian municipality of the City of Casey, this paper explores citizens’ understandings, experiences and expectations in relation to participation with local government. Citizens conveyed a strong desire for engagement, as well as frustration that the local government is disinterested in civic input and fails to keep the community adequately informed. Participants suggested that this situation is creating both a sense of disconnection from government and civic reluctance to further engage in local political matters. These civic insights reveal a precarious state of local politics, and highlight the complexities and tensions in the relationship between local governments, citizens and democratic participation.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference 2013: Refereed Papers|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publisher||News Media Research Centre, University of Canberra|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Event||Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference - University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia|
Duration: 18 Nov 2013 → 19 Nov 2013
|Conference||Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference|
|Period||18/11/13 → 19/11/13|
FREEMAN, J., & MCCALLUM, K. (2013). Public Connection with Local Government: Desires and Frustrations of Articulating Local Issues. In J. Freeman (Ed.), Proceedings of the Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference 2013: Refereed Papers (Vol. 1, pp. 137-148). Canberra: News Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.