There are 3 levels of government in Australia—federal, state and local. Local governments are commonly referred to as local councils, and they are accountable to you and your community. They plan and regulate the growth and development of local infrastructure and services.
Depending on the location of your council, it may have shire, regional or city included in its title.
In general, are responsible for services like:
- providing and managing public recreational facilities (like parks, bike paths and libraries)
- maintaining local roads
- town planning and development approvals
- animal management and waste disposal.
Contact your local council for more information about what your council does.
Local government planning schemes provide details about future development and planning including:
- land use
- residential and commercial development
- water and sewerage infrastructure
- park locations and extensions.
Your council will have a strategic plan that sets out what it intends for your local area in the future.
Contact your local council to have your say and access the plans.
There are 6 main ways that local governments raise money to provide infrastructure and services to communities.
- rates and charges
- fees, permits and registrations
- profits from council owned businesses including childcare centres, public housing, sporting and recreational facilities and transport services
- grants and subsidies
- developer contributions and charges levied on land being developed and used to pay for water and sewerage, roads and public recreation spaces.
Councils must document the processes used to raise revenue. These documents are publicly available and include the corporate plan, operational plan, revenue policy, revenue statement and budget.
- Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport—Australian Government.
- Local Government Association of Queensland—a peak body representing local governments in their dealings with other governments, unions, businesses and the community.