A Capital On the Highlands

Tweet Canberra, by Brendan Ashton on Flickr On Wednesday March 1, 1899, the town of Bowral and it’s neighbours in the Southern Highlands joined other contenders hoping to become Australia’s capital city. Moss Vale-based newspaper The Scrutineer records that “there was fairly good attendance, between 40 and 50 gentlemen being present, including residents of Mittagong, Bowral, ...

Digital democracy lets you write your own laws

Tweet This article was originally published at The Conversation. By Mark D. Ryan, University of Birmingham and Gurchetan S. Grewal, University of Birmingham True democracy is not just about casting a vote every five years. It means citizens being fully involved in the proposal, development and creation of laws. The Commission on Digital Democracy currently ...

Open Data Does Not Necessarily Mean Open Government

Tweet I’m republishing this piece from The Conversation because I’m interested in these issues and it has some resonance for the way I approach my work on local governments. Tweet

Party Politics in Councils

Tweet The spurt in the number of relatively high-profile minor parties who contested the 2013 federal election has given me cause to wonder about party affiliated local councillors. Tweet

Case Studies

Case Studies
Tweet I have settled on a case-study approach to my PhD research. It will focus on five local governments in the greater Illawarra region of New South Wales, considering how they form and react to public issues via participatory media. The five local governments, Wingecarribee Shire, Wollondilly Shire and Wollongong City, Shellharbour City, and Kiama Municipality, have ...

An Introduction to Participatory Media and Local Governments 4

Tweet This is an extract from my PhD research proposal review, submitted and approved in September 2013. As this is an introduction to a proposal, it is exploratory and sometimes vague. It does not contain all information and data I have collected on a particular point to the moment of writing, nor does it claim ...

Asking things from Politics

Tweet What frightens us so much in collective action, the reason why we delight so much in despising it, is that we might see reflected in its distorted mirror our own grimacing faces. Are we not asking from the assembly something it cannot possibly deliver, so that talking positively of politics horrifies us because it’s ...

The Difficulty with Digital

Tweet My PhD research concerns the digital communications practices of local governments in Australia. It encompasses their policies, motivations and actions in community consultation, online service delivery, communication of emergency information, e-democracy, e-government and more. It has often been said to me that digital communications is such a rapidly changing field that understanding phenomena in ...

Local e-Government vs Local e-Democracy

Tweet I’ve been thinking and writing about these two terms a bit recently as I work through my preliminary PhD research. The term e-government is largely used in an organisational context. That is, it describes the strategies used to arrange governments to respond to the possibilities and perceived challenges that digital communications tools pose. Meanwhile, ...

Local Government Referendum 2

Tweet The Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese today joined the Brisbane Lord Mayor to announce a referendum that will for the first time recognise local government in the Australian Constitution. While the actual wording of the referendum question is yet to be announced1, it is likely to be based around ...