Councils - Part of your every day
Councils provide hundreds of services you use every day.
These services and facilities make your local community vibrant, clean and safe.
As part of this, local councils look after about $22 billion worth of public assets.
Some of these services you probably rarely think about. But you’d miss them if they weren’t there.
Councils rely on your rates to pay for these services. But more and more, State policies are burdening councils and threatening services in your local community.
An average household contributes around $3.50 per day in council rates. In return, South Australian councils provide a huge range of arts and cultural, environmental and infrastructure, sports and health services.
If “rate capping” is introduced in South Australia, some of these services will be at risk. You can find out more about rate capping by visiting this page.
Next time you walk your furry friend, think about the council services that make it more enjoyable - footpaths, street crossings, walking trails, dog parks, and even special bags for Rover's business!
Read more about dog-off-leash parks and other interesting facts
As well as providing special dog-off-leash parks, South Australian councils manage hundreds of local parks and playgrounds, and maintain thousands of kilometers of walking trails.
Many councils offer programs to encourage responsible pet ownership, including dog obedience and owner education programs and microchipping vouchers/days. Pet registration enables councils to quickly identify lost animals and reunite them with their owners.
Last year SA councils returned over 8,000 animals to relieved families.
These services are mostly funded through dog registration fees, but in many cases are subsidised by council rates.
Libraries are important community meeting places, offering free internet and computer access, as well as book, CD and DVD lending.
Read more about council libraries
Many also host JP services, lend out toys, computer tablets, and sometimes even garden equipment. Libraries run programs like story time, summer reading clubs, English as a second language, online gaming, digital literacy courses and book discussion groups.
Councils operate 100 libraries and co-fund another 40 school based, joint-use libraries in rural and remote areas . Combined, councils invested $127million in the provision of libraries and cultural services last financial year (supported by $18.5million of State Government funding).
Read more about assets and infrastructure
Councils maintain local roads, bike lanes, walking and cycling trails. They also provide street lighting and park benches.
In fact, South Australian councils invested $341million (17% of their combined annual budgets) in road maintenance in 2014/15, plus $134 million on street lighting, stormwater management and environmental services.
Perhaps you’re involved with one of the hundreds of sporting clubs based in council-owned facilities. It’s estimated that local government in Australia spends more on sport and recreation than state and federal government combined.
What about taking the kids to the playground? Kicking a ball around the park? Throwing a few snags on the public BBQ?
Read more parks and playgrounds
South Australian councils maintain thousands of parks and playgrounds across the State. Councils also operate recreation and community centres, hosting everything from indoor cricket to roller-skating. What about a spot of fishing?
You could throw a line in from one of the dozens of jetties maintained by SA’s beachside councils. Or cool off at a council operated swimming pool.
South Australian councils invest millions of dollars each year in services and facilities that make everyday life in your community a little better.
To find out what’s available in your council area visit your council website.
To learn more about how rate capping affects council services