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Responsibilities of Councillors

The following is an excerpt from the Local Government Act 2009, sections 4 and 12 respectively, outlining the local government principles, and responsibilities and powers of a local government’s councillors.

The local government principles are:

  1. transparent and effective processes, and decision-making in the public interest; and
  2. sustainable development and management of assets and infrastructure, and delivery of effective services; and
  3. democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement; and
  4. good governance of, and by, local government; and
  5. ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees.

Responsibilities of councillors

  1. A councillor must represent the current and future interests of the residents of the local government area.
  2. All councillors of a local government have the same responsibilities, but the mayor has some extra responsibilities.
  3. All councillors have the following responsibilities—
    1. ensuring the local government—
      1. discharges its responsibilities under this Act; and
      2. achieves its corporate and community plans; and
      3. complies with all laws that apply to local governments;
    2. providing high quality leadership to the local government and the community;
    3. participating in council meetings, policy development, and decision-making, for the benefit of the local government area;
    4. being accountable to the community for the local government’s performance.
  4. The mayor has the following extra responsibilities—
    1. leading and managing meetings of the local government at which the mayor is the chairperson, including managing the conduct of the participants at the meetings;
    2. proposing the adoption of the local government’s budget;
    3. liaising with the chief executive officer on behalf of the other councillors;
    4. leading, managing, and providing strategic direction to, the chief executive officer in order to
      achieve the high quality administration of the local government;
    5. directing the chief executive officer, in accordance with the local government’s policies;
    6. conducting a performance appraisal of the chief executive officer, at least annually, in the way that is decided by the local government (including as a member of a committee, for example);
    7. ensuring that the local government promptly provides the Minister with the information about
      the local government area, or the local government, that is requested by the Minister;
    8. being a member of each standing committee of the local government;
    9. representing the local government at ceremonial or civic functions.
  5. A councillor who is not the mayor may perform the mayor’s extra responsibilities only if the mayor delegates the responsibility to the councillor.
  6. When performing a responsibility, a councillor must serve the overall public interest of the whole local government area.

For further information, contact Council’s Governance team on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624).


Written Complaints About Councillor Conduct or Performance

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Record of Written Complaints about Councillor Conduct and Performance 176.00 KB