Abstract: Over the past fifteen years or more, the Tasmanian Health and Human Services sector has seen a number of attempts to move towards more consultative policy-making arrangements between the government and non-government sectors. There have been a number of steps taken to move both sectors towards partnership-style arrangements (Alessandrini and Ryan 1998; Ryan 1999). This paper examines the case of the health and human services sector in Tasmania, using the partnership process of 'Changing Relationships' to begin exploring the experiences of workers in both the government and non-government sectors. In doing so, it illustrates the challenges and opportunities both sectors have faced in working towards a partnership arrangement. Perhaps more significantly, this paper also bridges the gap between the breadth of theoretical literature on consultation in policy-making and the limited applied investigation of these issues. It shows a changed process in Tasmania, in which policy-making has become more multi-faceted, with higher levels of trust, reciprocity and friendship between workers in both sectors. However, there remain a number of barriers to policy-making, including organisational memory and a commitment to consultation that is often emphasised more 'in spirit' . Overall, notable barriers to policy-making have been observed by key informants in both sectors. This paper discusses the lessons for Tasmania but also findings that are applicable beyond the state. With policy processes more often involving greater consultation and more interaction between the government and non-government sectors, the findings and challenges outlined in this paper are applicable to other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas.
To cite this article: Webber, Courtney. Changing relationships between the government and nongovernment sectors in Tasmania [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2013: 5-26.
[cited 23 Jun 17].