Local Government forms part of the democratic framework of Australia. The community elects their Council Members every four years.
Councils have been referred to as being at the “grass roots” and are well placed to know about the needs and priorities in the local community and to enhance the local environment and quality of life.
Councils primarily operate within the legal frameworkof the Local Government Act 1999 and the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999. They are also accountable with State laws against fraud and corruption applying and subject to oversight by police, the Ombudsman and the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.
How does a Council work
- At Council meetings, Council Members decide on Council plans and policies and what local services will be provided.
- Individual Council Members do not have authority to make decisions on behalf of the Council – it is the elected Council as a whole that has this decision-making power.
- The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for all staffing issues, implementing Council policies and decisions and the daily operations of a Council.
- Councils form committees of their Council Members and Council staff to deal with some tasks, such as work related to development, finance and recreation.
- When major planning decisions or changes in the community are being considered Councils will consult with the community before they make decisions.
- Minutes of meetings are prepared, as well as reports about the management of Council affairs such as Annual Reports. These records are available to the public.
- Anyone can attend Council meetings to listen to what is talked about and the decisions that are made.