Local Government is a sphere of Australian Government at the community level. Local Government exerts significant influence on local economies and communities.
In Victoria, there are 79 local government organisations, better known as Councils. Each council is administered under the Local Government Act 1989, other Acts of Parliament and the council's own local laws.
Local Government is responsible for a wide range of duties and services including :
- waste management
- ensuring buildings are safe for people to use
- maintaining local streets and parklands
- enforcing local laws designed to help neighbours live in harmony
- deciding what different types of land should be used for
- ensuring food sold within the city is prepared in a safe and healthy manner
- immunising children against disease
- assisting the elderly or disabled with daily needs
- supervising school crossings to ensure the safety of our children
The money needed to provide council services comes from several sources. Approximately half comes from rates (a tax paid by each property owner that varies, depending on the value of the property). The rest of council's income comes from fees, charges and government grants.