Citizen consultation from above and below: the Australian perspective
Citizen engagement and e-government initiatives in Australia remain somewhatunderdeveloped, not least for a number of fundamental structural reasons. Fledglinginitiatives can be divided into a number of broad categories, including top-down governmentconsultation through blogs and similar experimental online sites operated by governmentdepartments; bottom-up NGO-driven watchdog initiatives such as GetUp! ProjectDemocracy site, modelled on projects established in the UK; and a variety of more or lesssuccessful attempts by politicians (and their media handlers) to utilise social networking toolsto connect with constituents while bypassing the mainstream media. This chapter exploresthese initiatives, and discusses the varying levels of success which they have found to date.