What councils do
Council’s activities are diverse and extensive. They maintain significant infrastructure, provide a range of services and enforce various laws for their communities.
Community infrastructure maintained by councils in Victoria is estimated to be valued at over $40 Billion and includes roads, bridges, drains, town halls, libraries, recreation facilities, parks and gardens.
Services provided by councils are diverse. They include property, economic, human, recreational and cultural services. Councils also enforce State and local laws relating to such matters as land use planning, environment protection, public health, traffic and parking and animal management.
Councils regularly review their activities to determine whether they are providing best practice for their communities.
This section of the Guide provides additional information about some council activities. However, as local government activities are numerous and services vary between councils, you should contact your council for details of activities in your local area.
Planning and building
The use of land in each municipality is covered by a planning scheme and the Council usually administers the scheme and issues planning permits. Building permits are different from planning permits and may be issued by either council or private building surveyors.
Roads and parking
While councils do not manage all roads in their area, they do have powers and responsibilities to manage and maintain parking, traffic and roads under their control.
Councils provide a range of services under the Health Act and the Food Act to support public health in their areas.
Councils provide many services for people in their communities. This includes services for families, children, young people and the aged.
Councils provide waste disposal and recycling services as well as regulating various waste disposal activities within the municipality to protect public health and the environment.
Councils register the dogs and cats in their municipality, to promote responsible pet ownership and assist in tracing the owners of stray animals.
Recreation and culture
Recreation and cultural services include a broad range of programs, events and activities provided by local council.
Councils have a range of responsibilities under both State and Federal Laws. Where appropriate, councils may make local laws which provide additional detail about how they exercise this authority.