Local government in WA

The Local Government Act 1995 provides for the functions and powers of local governments in WA.
  • Each local government is responsible for a district, which may be referred to as a ‘city’, ‘town’ or ‘shire’. This district may be split into smaller areas called ‘wards’. While a council member may be elected by a particular ward, they have a duty to represent the whole local government district. 
  • Local governments have an elected governing body and an administrative body:
    • Elected body — known as the council
      • Consists of between 5  and 15 elected members (also called council members). One member is the Mayor or President, who provides leadership and guidance.
      • Sets the overall direction for the local district through strategic planning and decision-making decisions. The council adopts a longer-term view of the future for the community and makes plans and policies to achieve this.
      • The council is required to monitor the local government’s performance through audit and budget reviews and to ensure the local government has adequate resources to perform required tasks.
      • The council is responsible for recruiting and appointing the local government’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and for managing the CEO and reviewing their performance. 
    • Administrative body — known as the local government administration:
      • Led by a CEO who is appointed by the council.
      • Local government employees are public officers who manage the delivery of local government services and functions.
      • Local government employees are responsible for providing advice to the council, implementing council plans and policies and taking action on council decisions. 
York Town Hall, built in 1911 due to the increased wealth brought on by Gold rushes in eastern areas of the state. A local stands in front of this historic building which is frequented regularly by Tourists to this picturesque town.

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Page reviewed 01 September 2021