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What Do Councils Do?

The range of services provided by Local Government is in response to the needs and priorities determined by local communities. Most people recognise that Councils provide a diverse range of services but few people understand quite how wide and diverse the range of services are.

What Councils must do

Mostly Councils decide what services they will provide locally, however there are some services which Councils are required to provide by legislation. These include:

  • Planning and development services, including building assessment;
  • Some environmental health services, such as monitoring cooling towers for Legionnaire's Disease;
  • Fire prevention (some building inspection, and some bushfire prevention planning functions are a duty, others are discretionary);
  • Dog and cat management;
  • Some administrative requirements, such as preparing strategic plans for the area, maintaining an office, employing a Chief Executive Officer and supporting the elected Council.

What Our Council does by choice

Other services provided and activities undertaken or funded by many Councils in SA are listed below:

  • Libraries with books and free internet
  • Monitoring of insanitary conditions
  • Control of pest animals and plants
  • Food safety inspections
  • Roads (local roads - that is, not national highways or State arterial roads)
  • Footpaths
  • Stormwater drainage
  • Parks and gardens
  • Street lighting
  • On street parking
  • Traffic management and local road safety
  • Reserves and picnic areas
  • Recreation facilities
  • Ovals
  • Public swimming pools
  • Rubbish collection and disposal
  • Recycling
  • Information services
  • Skate parks
  • Community development programs
  • Economic Development
  • Tourism information and support
  • Community buses
  • Environmental management
  • Festivals and events
  • Cemeteries
  • Wetlands
  • Local Area Water Catchment Plans
  • Dry zones
  • Cycling tracks
  • Septic Tank effluent disposal schemes