Purpose of the Local Government in Australia
by Hailey Williams
Australian local governments, also known as local councils, are legal branches of state government. All states and the Northern Territory have slightly different roles for local government, outlined in the state legislature.
Building and Maintenance
Local governments in Australia are responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads and footpaths and the enforcement of building codes.
Services provided by local governments include animal control, health inspections for food servers and retailers, and care for the elderly. Many rural councils are active in fire prevention and education.
Local governments build and maintain facilities like sporting fields, local libraries and tourism centers.
Differences Between States
Local governments in Queensland, rural New South Wales and Tasmania have responsibility for sewage and water services, unlike in other states. The Australian Capital Territory has no local government.
Local governments are partially funded by grants from the state government and raise their own revenues through local property taxes, dog licensing, usage fees for facilities and sewage and waste disposal fees.