Role in government
In the Australian federal system there are three levels of government:
Each level of government is centred on a body (a parliament or a council) democratically elected by the people as their representatives.
Each level of government has its own responsibilities, although many responsibilities are shared in various ways.
Australian Federal Parliament - federal government
The Australian Federal Government is the highest tier of government in Australia and consist of two houses of parliament - the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Members of the House of Representatives represent specific areas of their state (electorates). Decisions made by the House of Representatives are then reviewed in the Senate. Senators represent their state as a whole, rather than a specific electorate region.
Visit the Parliament of Australia website for more information.
Queensland State Parliament - state government
State government represents the second level of Australian government. State government members (Members of Queensland Parliament) represent specific areas of the state (electorates).
Visit the Queensland Parliament website for more information.
City of Gold Coast - local government
City of Gold Coast (City) is a local government council - part of the third or lowest level of government in Australia, often seen as being the most accessible to the people.
Local government bodies such as the City have specific responsibilities, duties and limitations on their areas of responsibility or influence. You may have concerns involving an area of government where local council is unable to act or advise. In these cases, you may wish to contact your state or federal government representative.
The Queensland Government website is the main online entry point to Queensland State Government services and information.
Law making and enforcement by City of Gold Coast
City of Gold Coast is empowered under the Local Government Act to adopt a range of local laws, regulations and policies.
The City is also responsible for ensuring state and local government laws and regulations are observed. This includes a range of permits and licences. Most issues are clearly recognised as being governed by either a local, state or federal law.
However the interaction of local, state and federal laws can be complex, and you may find enquiries to your local Councillor are referred to another area of government which has the jurisdiction to advise on something outside the City's control.
If you are unsure, your Divisional Councillor is there to assist and direct your concerns regarding government issues, and is always a good place to start.
For information about both houses of Federal Parliament, the House of Representatives and the Senate, refer to the Parliament of Australia website below.