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How do councils decide what services to provide?

Each council decides what services it will provide in its local area.

Services vary from one area to another, and depend on the size of the council area, the population, where the area is located, what the priority needs of the local community are, and the resources and funding available.

Did you know?

It's a typical Sunday - you've been down at the beach swimming and walking along the foreshore. Riding your bike home along the roads and bike-paths, you catch up with some friends having a BBQ in the park. Kids are laughing and playing in the playground and you watch a skateboard competition at the skate park.

After lunch you and your friends decide to watch the local team play footy on the oval, and then drop into the library to e-mail a friend overseas on the internet and borrow a few CDs and DVDs to watch back at your place. Did you know your local council provides many of the services and facilities you use every day? Other infrastructure and services provided by councils such as stormwater drains are rarely seen.

All councils are involved in the following:

  • land use planning and assessing development and building works
  • infrastructure such as local roads, stormwater drains and footpaths
  • looking after public places like parks and reserves, public toilets, ovals and playing fields
  • waste and recycling services
  • public health and safety, like inspecting places where food is prepared to make sure they are clean and fire prevention measures are in place
  • dog and cat management and control
  • promoting good environmental management
  • helping to create employment, for example by attracting new businesses to the area.

Most councils also provide community services and facilities, such as library and information services with free public access to the internet, community halls and meeting places, and support community events like music, arts and cultural festivals.

For more information, follow the links below.

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