Councils are responsible for managing their local area and fostering a safe, healthy and prosperous environment. Councils do this by providing services, infrastructure and facilities which support the well-being of people within their community. Policies are made by the Council to provide these services and decisions are made on the level of rates needed to be paid by the community to fund these programs.
As well as providing their own services, Councils participate in the planning and co-ordination of services provided by others, including the State and Federal Governments, and voluntary and community groups.
Councils will often try to influence the decisions made by other government bodies on issues which have an impact on the local community, including public transport, main roads, hospitals, economic development and the protection of the environment. Members of the community are kept informed of Council's activities and are encouraged to provide their input into Council's policies, strategic planning and the spending of local funds.
Most of the services provided by Councils are discretionary (that is, Councils choose to provide them) and very few of the services provided by Councils are a statutory duty (that is, required by legislation).
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.