Australia's Government. How we Are Governed.

Essay by gangstarHigh School, 10th gradeB+, August 2002

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How We Are Governed - Local Government

Australia has three systems of government, each of which is comprised of politicians who are elected by the community to represent their opinions. Federal, which controls Australia, state, which controls its respective state or territory, and local, which controls its suburb or in some cases, multiple suburbs. In this essay I will explain how our local government system works.

Local governments are comprised of local councils. Councils are constituted to be elected by the community in the form of councillors for their defined regional area. Each property owner and commercial operator is entitled, but not compelled, to vote for the councillor they want to represent their needs. Some councils are divided into wards, with each ward being represented by one or more councillors. Other councils may use the system of the whole council area being represented by a larger number of councillors, usually 10-15 councillors.

Some councils have their mayor elected separately by the community, while others have the mayor elected in council, by councillors. All councils are affiliated with the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA has an Executive Council Committee, whose members are elected by the affiliated councils. The Mayor usually officiates at full council meetings. All council members have the power to vote at council meetings. The Mayor usually has a discretionary vote if required.

Local Government is concerned with matters close to our home. Local government controls planning, community services, capital works etc. and prepares the financial budget each year to cover the costs of operating and capital works. If necessary councils can borrow funds for ongoing works. All rated properties within the council areas are required to pay council rates according to the value of their property.

Local government must approve of all development including industrial buildings, residential...