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Local Government

Last updated: 26/07/2018 10:45 PM
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About Local Government (WA)

Local Government (WA) is a division of the Western Australian Government's Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and provides advice and support to WA's 137 local governments and two Indian Ocean Territories.   

Local Government (WA) provides policy advice to the Minister for Local Government, oversees the administration of the Local Government Act 1995 and works in partnership with WA councils to to improve the capacity of local governments to respond to community demands and expectations, and improve levels of accountability and legislative compliance. Local Government (WA) is not involved in the day to day operations of individual councils.

The administration of the WA Local Government Grants Commission is also located within Local Government (WA). The Commission allocates financial assistance grants provided by the Federal Government to councils.

Western Australia's local government landscape

Western Australia has the nation's most diverse local government sector made up of 137 local governments and two Indian Ocean Territories including the smallest and largest local government by size.

Each local government has a council, established as the primary decision maker in the local government.

A council makes decisions on planning and delivering core services in their community including waste, roads, parks, playgrounds and gardens, as well as statutory responsibilities in planning and development approvals, public health and various licencing requirements.  The scope and range of services provided by local governments continues to expand as community expectations evolve.

Councils appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to manage the day to day operations of the local government and implementing council's decisions.

Local governments make a significant contribution to the Western Australian economy employing more than 15,000 peo​ple, spending nearly $4 billion on service delivery and infrastructure and managing more than $40 billion in assets.  For more detailed financial information about each council, visit MyCouncil.

Read more about local government in WA in An introduction to local government fact sheet.

The system of government

In WA, local governments are recognised as the third tier of government framed by the Local Government Act 1995.  Local governments are established as autonomous bodies with general competence powers to provide for the good government of persons in their district.

Minister for Local Government

The Minister for Local Government is responsible for overseeing the system of local government in WA. The Minister acts as a champion for the local government sector and supports and monitors the system of local government with the assistance of Local Government (WA). The Minister is not directly involved in the day to day operations of individual councils.

Local Matters 

Local Matters is a bi-monthly publication providing updates on departmental developments, highlights from local government initiatives and demonstrates ways that our sectors are working together. Subscribe to Local Matters.