Role of local government

In the Australian federal system, there are three levels of government: local, state and federal.

Each level of government is centred on a body (a parliament or a council) democratically elected by the people as their representatives.

In general, each level of government has its own responsibilities, although many responsibilities are shared in various ways.

Local government

City of Gold Coast is the second largest local government in Australia based on the Gold Coast's estimated resident population.

Local government bodies such as the City have specific responsibilities and duties. There are limitations to their areas of responsibility or influence. You may have concerns involving an area of government where local council is unable to act or provide advice. In these cases, you may wish to contact your state or federal government representative.

Law making and enforcement

Council has the power under the Local Government Act 2009 to adopt a range of local laws, regulations and policies.

We are also responsible for ensuring state and local government laws and regulations are observed. This includes a range of permits and licences.

A local, state or federal law will govern most issues, yet the interaction of local, state and federal laws can be complex. You may find your local Councillor will refer enquiries to another area of government. This is because that area has the jurisdiction to provide advice on something outside Council's control.

If you are unsure, your Divisional Councillor can help direct your concerns about government issues, and is always a good place to start.

Our services

We provide a range of services, programs, activities and facilities. For more information visit Services.

Councillors and divisions

Council consists of the Mayor and 14 elected Councillors, each representing their local division. Residents elect a Divisional Councillor and a City Mayor every 4 years.

What do Councillors do?

Elected Councillors listen to the needs of their community and residents and advocate for better community programs and services for their division and its residents. They consult with residents in their division and represent the interests of the community at council meetings.

Councillors participate in decision-making processes, where they translate the community's needs and aspirations into the future direction of the city. Your Divisional Councillor works towards delivering safer, highly liveable communities and is involved with law making, major projects and events.

The interaction of local, state and federal laws can be complex. You may find enquiries to your local Councillor are referred to another area of government which, has the jurisdiction to advise on something outside Council's control.

To find out more about your local representative visit Mayor & Councillors.

State government

State government represents the second level of Australian government. State government Members of Queensland Parliament represent specific areas of the state (electorates).

Visit the Queensland Parliament website for more information.

Local State Government Members

Federal government

The Australian Federal Government is the highest tier of government in Australia. It consists of two houses of parliament:

  1. House of Representatives
  2. 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.

Local Federal Government Members