Despite the plethora of works on empowerment, questions remain regarding when and how empowerment impacts a community group’s salience in multi-party collaboration. This article uses an Australian context to examine the relationship between empowerment and salience in local development partnerships. In doing this, it uses bivariate, multinomial logistics and thematic analyses to build an empirical case that empowerment is one driver of change in salience status. Study findings show that stakeholder salience is significantly influenced by accountability and capacity building, which help to build meaningful development collaborations. The article concludes with critical development implications.