The Role of Council

Photo: 2019 Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Council.

Western Australia’s Constitution requires that the State Government establish local governments to provide services for the community.

Local Governments are the closest tier of government to the community and are established under the Local Government Act 1995. This Act sets out that the general functions of a local government are to:

  • provide for good government
  • provide services and facilities to meet the community needs
  • deliver services effectively and efficiently
  • be accountable to the community.

For information on the services that the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale provide, please visit our Community page here.

A Local Government comprises two parts – a Council and an Administration.

The Council is responsible for:

  • setting the strategic direction of the council;
  • determining the range and scope of services to be provided;
  • approving the budget;
  • ensuring an appropriate administration structure; and
  • adopting policies

The Council is made up of Councillors (also known as Elected Members) and the President or Mayor. Our Council is led by a President, (Towns and Cities are led by Mayors). For information on how Councillors are elected to serve on Council, please visit our Information for Candidates page. For details on who the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s Councillors are, please visit our Shire Councillors page.

The President does not have any more power than other Councillors but does have extra duties to perform such as chairing Council meetings, carrying out civic and ceremonial functions, liaising with the CEO and speaking on behalf of the local government.

The duties of a Councillor are to:

  • represent the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents
  • provide leadership and guidance to the community
  • facilitate communication between the community and the Council
  • participate in the local government’s decision-making processes at council and committee meetings

Councillors have no power to act individually and decisions are made collectively at Council meetings.

The Administration is responsible for:

  • implementing the decisions made by Council
  • day to day management of services and facilities
  • all administrative tasks
  • employment of individual staff members
  • expenditure of money
  • maintenance of public records

The Administration is headed by the CEO and is made up of Directors, Managers and other officers.