Deliberative Democracy in Local Government

Iain Walker, John Hennessy and Simon Breheny

ERRN (VIC) and Victorian Parliamentary Library Seminar

Wednesday 1 November

Parliament House

Event Audio Recording

Deliberative Democracy in Local Government

Speakers in this recording:

  • Iain Walker
  • John Hennessy
  • Simon Breheny
  • David Morris, MP (Chair)

About the Seminar

Faced with a trend of declining public engagement, local government bodies in Australia and around the world have been turning to deliberative democracy as a way of enhancing citizen participation and the legitimacy of government. Typically, a group of citizen's are randomly selected to be briefed and make recommendations on an important matter of public policy. Recent examples in Victoria include the People’s Panel in the City of Melbourne, which considered the Council’s 10-year financial plan, and the Citizens' Jury in the City of Greater Geelong, which recommended a change to the electoral structure.

Are such forms of deliberative democracy likely to supplement or subvert representative local government? Three speakers will provide different perspectives on this issue.

The Speakers

Iain Walker is the Executive Director of the new Democracy Foundation in Australia, which aims to pursue a fundamental change in democracy to ensure that citizens trust government decision making. Iain holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Business from UTS.

John Hennessy
is a Sector Development Manager with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), which supports councils to embrace deliberative democracy as a key part of the MAV Future of Local Government program. 

Simon Breheny
is the Director of Policy of the Institute of Public Affairs and chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and a regular media commentator on policy and politics in Australia. Simon holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne.