Role of Council

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What Local Government does

Australia has three levels of law making - sometimes referred to as three levels of government that work together to provide Australian with services. The Federal Parliament makes laws for the whole of Australia. There are six state and two mainland territory parliaments who make laws for their state of territory. Additionally there are over 560 local councils who make local laws called by-laws for their region or district.

Each level has its own responsibilities and in some cases the responsibilities overlap.


Local Council Responsibilities

The task of local government is to regulate and manage services and activities including matters about:

  • Local roads, footpaths, cycle ways, street signage, and lighting
  • Waste management including rubbish collection and recycling
  • Parking
  • Recreational facilities including parks, sporting fields and swimming pool
  • Cultural facilities including libraries, art galleries, museums
  • Services including childcare, aged care and accommodation
  • Sewerage
  • Town planning
  • Building approvals and inspections
  • Land and coast care programs
  • Domestic animal regulation

State Government Responsibilities

The task of State government is to regulate and manage services and activities include matters about:

  • Utilities such as electricity and water supply
  • Roads and Railways
  • Police
  • Mining and Agriculture
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Forests
  • Community Services
  • Prisons
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Ambulance service
  • Public transport
  • Land and coast care programs
  • Domestic animal regulation

Each State also sets out what powers are given to local councils to look after the needs of local communities


What is the role of Council?

The Mayor

  • presides at meetings of the Council
  • carries out civic and ceremonial functions
  • in cases of necessity exercises policy making functions of the Council between meetings.
  • performs other functions as the Council determines.

Policy Formulation

  • The Local Government Act 1993 gave legislative effect to the traditional view of Local Government Administrators that the role of the Mayor and Councillors is to formulate policies for a Council’s operations, to determine the budgetary priorities and to review performance to ensure that the objectives are achieved. The Act specifically provides that it is the Councillors who direct and control the affairs of the Council in accordance with the Act.

What is the role of a Councillor?

The role of a Councillor is, as a member of the governing body of the Council:

  • to direct and control the affairs of the Council in accordance with the Local Government Act
  • to participate in the optimum allocation of the Council's resources for the benefit of the area
  • to play a key role in the creation and review of the Council's policies and objectives and criteria relating to the exercise of the Council's regulatory functions
  • to review the performance of the Council and its delivery of services, and the management plans and revenue policies of Council.

The role of a Councillor is, as an elected person:

  • to represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers
  • to provide leadership and guidance to the community
  • to facilitate communication between the community and the Council
  • to direct and control the affairs of the Council in accordance with the Local Government Act.

Council's Committees

For a full list of Council's committees and nominated delegates please click here.


Trusts

Crown Land Trusts administered by the Council

Much of the open space areas in Queanbeyan are Crown land areas that are managed by the Queanbeyan City Council. These areas have had the elected Council appointed to separately administer the land as a Crown Land Trust.

The specific trusts that operate in the city are:

  • Queanbeyan Showground Reserve Trust
  • Queanbeyan Park Reserve Trust
  • Seiffert Reserve Trust
  • Queanbeyan City Council Crown Reserves Reserve Trust and
  • Letchworth Estate Trust

These Trusts are responsible, under the oversight of the Minister for Lands, for the care, control and management of specified Crown Reserves.

In each case, the Council has been appointed as the Manager of the affairs of these Reserve Trusts and meets separately as the various Reserve Trust Management Committees making decisions in relation to Trust affairs.

Reserve Trusts enjoy a level of autonomy to determine all matters relating to the control and management of Crown reserves, often within an approved Plan of Management. This includes entering into maintenance contracts, determining the lease and development options of the land (subject to Crown consent), setting entry fees and employing people to work for it.

Reserve Trust Meetings are held if needed on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings for the Trusts are separately convened and conducted consecutively. The Trust Secretary issues formal agendas and prepares reports of the meetings.

Apart from the members of the Trusts (Councillors of Queanbeyan City Council and the Manager of the Trusts), and Council support staff, attendance at Reserve Trust Meetings is by invitation.

It is a requirement of the Crown Lands Act 1989 that Reserve Trust Management Committees expend revenue received from users of Crown Lands for the maintenance of the reserve on which it was generated or, with the consent of the Minister, for the maintenance and improvement of other Crown Reserve Lands.

The Reserve Trusts managed by the Council do not generate sufficient revenue to meet the cost of maintenance of the lands administered, let alone the cost of capital improvements. In the main, the majority maintenance works and all capital works are funded by the Council. The Executive Manager – Legal and Risk has been appointed the Secretary of Reserve Trust Management Committees.