Professor Dollery said…

“look at Queensland pre and post amalgamation … you will notice…a large new professional class is being created…In  bigger councils like Moreton bay,…Councillors are de facto politicians as are State and Federal politicians. Is it wise use of public resources to create an additional class of politicians? Is it a good idea to have people with nothing better to do than dream up schemes of power to regulate you and I all day? Most of these schemes..cost money. Do you think the people…are happier now that those Councillors are very well paid when they use to be quite often operating on a voluntary basis?”

“one of the big arguments in favour of it (amalgamation) was there was going to be scale economies…massive councils would benefit through scale economies per capita. Costs would fall, rates would not rise so fast…everybody would live happily ever after, but that has not happened….there weren’t scale economies…gains that were supposed to flow…didn’t flow.”

“Although there is no published Australian evidence on the question, “Are there scale economies in administration? Is bigger cheaper?” there is quite a substantial amount of US empirical evidence in that. The American evidence is that it’s quite contrary. Small Councils are much cheaper because of what they call in economics and technical terms ‘public choice type arguments’, common sense, political arguments. In small Councils, people take a greater interest in the Council. They more readily contact Councillors. They phone up the Council. “

The full transcript can be read by clicking this link Professor Brian Dollery

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