Constitutional responsibility for local government lies with the state and territory governments. This means that the roles and responsibilities of local government differ from state to state.

See the Australian Local Government Association for facts and figures about Australian local government.

What you can find in the Library

See the subject heading Local government - Australia for general works and history.

Documents prepared by local councils may be lodged at the Library; search for town or shire name and council, or “Municipal Council,” for example:

Caboolture Shire Council

George Town Tasmania Council

You can also find:



Reports, reviews statistics

Selected print resources:

Local government in Australia prepared under instructions from the Minister of State for Home and Territories by G.H. Knibbs (1919). An introduction to local government and some historical statistics  

Australian local government economics by Brian Dollery, Lin Crase and Andrew Johnson (2006). Discusses economic foundations of local government, and the current place of councils in the broad context of Australian federal fiscalism

Funding the future : financial sustainability and infrastructure finance in Australian local government / Brian E. Dollery, Michael A. Kortt, Bligh James Grant