University of Technology Sydney

15638 Ethics and Governance for Local Government

6cp; Distance and Block
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides participants with an understanding of the key concepts and theories in ethical and moral reasoning and how these apply to organisations generally and to local government, and state-local government relations in Australia in particular. Completing this subject enables participants to:

  • understand key theoretical concepts in ethical and moral reasoning, including deviance, corruption, stakeholder theory and the state, and different types of ethical reasoning, including consequentialist (egoist; utilitarian) and deontological (ie. rights-based) reasoning and virtue ethics.
  • understand how these concepts apply to, and are implemented in institutions generally for [i] structuring these institutions; [ii] decision-making therein; [iii] managing and interacting with stakeholders (citizens; consumers; suppliers; competitors) and [iv] for policy-making in these areas in relation to (for example) positive discrimination, social justice and codes of conduct.
  • understand how these principles are reflected in contemporary public organisations, particularly local governments and state-local relations, inclusive of the range of oversight mechanisms for local governments. For this subject, the jurisdictions of NSW, Victoria and Queensland are examined as case studies.
  • apply these learnings to their professional, management and leadership practices.

Participants read, debate and extend their understandings of morality, corruption and misconduct. They examine institutions of oversight across select Australian local government jurisdictions, such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in NSW, and the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and the Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal (RDT) in Queensland. They examine a range of cases from these jurisdictions and apply principles of right and wrong, and good and bad to their work in local government. Learners throughout are encouraged to reflect on the integration of theory with practice and, in so doing, the academic and research skills of participants are enhanced.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.