Can the local government get some of their powers stripped by the federal government?

Thanks for your question.

Local councils are not mentioned in the Australian Constitution. Local councils are created by state parliaments who decide the powers and responsibilities of local councils. The federal government cannot decide on or reduce the powers of local councils. It is possible for states to transfer some of their powers to the Australian Parliament. A state could give the Australian Parliament power to act in an area formally the responsiblity of local councils in that state but this is would be very unusual.

The federal government can influence the work of local councils by providing funding for local projects such as building local sports facilities but this does not involve changing the powers of the local council.

A graphic that lists some of the areas local governments can make laws in.

The law-making powers of local government.

Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)

The law-making powers of local government.

A graphic that lists some of the areas local governments can make laws in.

Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)

Description

The law-making powers of local governments include:

  • Local roads, footpaths, cycle ways, street signage and lighting
  • Rubbish collection and recycling
  • Parking
  • Parks, sports fields and swimming pools
  • Libraries, art galleries and museums
  • Childcare and aged care
  • Sewerage
  • Town planning
  • Building approvals and inspections
  • Land and coast care programs
  • Pet control