A new book looks at Local Government as a lobbyist in the Australian political framework.
Local Government is featured in two articles by Socom’s Managing Director, David Hawkins, and former Local Government Focus editor, Dr Kevin Brianton, who is now a senior lecturer in strategic communication at La Trobe University.
The two articles represent different perspectives on Local Government lobbying.
Hawkins provides an overview of how Local Government can work effectively as a lobbyist drawing on his company’s successful track record in the field.
“There is a broad range of sophistication in regards to the lobbying efforts of different council groups and individuals.
“This is apparent when you look at the approaches at two different ends of the spectrum.
“At one end, there is the ‘poor me’ approach which asks governments for assistance without a strong argument.
“This signifies recurrent spending for governments. At the other end, there is a solid, evidence based business case that demonstrates the value for the community and the funding entities.”
Dr Brianton delivers a far more critical review of Local Government examining the relations between state and local governments.
He looks at various Local Government campaigns for Australia Day and constitutional recognition.
“Local Government is often its own worst enemy in delivering poorly constructed campaigns, which deliver more heat than light.”
Editor, Mark Sheehan, a senior lecturer in communication at Deakin University, said the authors of Advocates and Persuaders aimed to demystify the political practice of lobbying.
“They believe that lobbying has a significant role to play in a healthy democracy, and they examine it closely in the contexts of federal, state and local government.
“They also shine a spotlight on the involvement of the media, regulators and pollsters in lobbying and include as case studies analyses of lobbying by a diversity of organisations, ranging widely from large corporations to grass roots activists.
“The book also dispels many misconceptions about how and why lobbying is done.
“But what it singularly emphasises is that lobbying objectives often achieve a common good and this is more prevalent in the area of local government as evidenced in the Advocates and Persuaders case studies. ”
Advocates and Persuaders is published by Australian Scholary Publishing and copies can be ordered for $35 at scholarly.info/book/advocates-and-persuaders/