My Books

Recent Australian local government structural reform has manifested as council amalgamations and predominantly as imposed merger processes. Divided We Fall? An Insider's Perspective on Local Government Amalgamations, is Ian Tiley's expert textual guide to the complexities of Australian local governance. It is clear and concise, making it an invaluable easy to read tool.

The book examines council amalgamations across Australia since 1992, with a case study of the 2004 council amalgamation that became the NSW Clarence Valley Council. The imposed amalgamation of four general-purpose and two county councils could have been a recipe for chaos; instead this book describes the gains and the challenges.

Written from the author's deep-seated knowledge of local government, the book details the net positive economic outcomes and financial benefits against measurable indicators and describes the impacts on local democracy. Based on detailed research, this long term local government 'insider' perspective of the Australian model is of value to those interested in driving or understanding change through local government reform.

Purchase the book online at or or or call 1800 618 969

See the author's current CV on the About page


Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform - Brian Dollery


Over the past three decades, all Australian State and Territory local government systems have experienced episodes of reform of varying degrees of intensity, often involving controversial programs of forced amalgamation. Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform draws upon the insights and expertise of an extraordinary group of contributors, drawn from practitioners with extensive and exceptional ‘hands-on’ experience in local government, as well as scholars of Australian local government. The book seeks to blend the wisdom derived from long years as practitioners of local government with the insights flowing from scholarship.

This book comprises three main parts. The first part provides reflections on the aims of Australian local government reform. The second considers the process reform, while the final part of the book contemplates the future of Australian local government. 

There are twelve chapters each written by different contributors who have distinguished themselves as policy makers, practitioners or scholars of local government in Australia. The methodological approach employed harnesses the perspectives of experts from all seven Australian local government jurisdictions in an effort to provide a holistic appreciation of the nature of local government reform in the Australian federation. 

Perspectives on Australian Local Government Reform will be of special interest to those engaged in the practice and study of Australian local government and those with an interest in the ‘grassroots’ sector, given ongoing local government reform across the different Australian local government systems.

This book is available online through and other book sellers