The decision-making process

Find information below on the how decisions are made within Council.

Council's authority & functions

The decision-making powers and responsibilities of your local council are defined by:

  • The Local Government Act 2009
  • a range of other legislation
  • court decisions
  • compliance with Australian and international standards.

Councils have no authority in matters that fall outside the powers conferred by legislation.

If you have concerns about an issue outside Council's authority, you may wish to contact your State or Federal government representative. Your local Councillor may also be able to direct your concerns about government issues.

Council resolutions

Council of the City of Gold Coast must exercise it powers by a decision made in a meeting of the full Council, unless it has delegated its powers to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). These decisions are called resolutions.

The minutes of local government meetings are both a record of the business transacted at the meeting and the resolutions made during the meeting.

A copy of the agenda and the minutes for each meeting must be made available for public inspection at one of our customer service centres or on our website.

For more information about Council resolutions see our Council meetings page. You will also find a schedule of all Council meetings and committee meetings on this page.

Council policies

Our policies are statements, formally adopted by either Council or the CEO. They:

  • provide guidance on interpreting legislation
  • outline our responsibilities and
  • refer to the applicable standards and guidelines for decision-making under the policy.

View a searchable list of our policies.

Local laws

Council's decision-making powers include the ability to control, regulate, license, prevent, and prohibit activity in the Gold Coast area. These powers are administered through local laws adopted by Council.

View a searchable list of Council's local laws.

Council's local laws aim to protect a range of environmental, social and health values in our city. City officers issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) for an act or omission against a local law or other legislation.

The Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) Review Policy defines the process and criteria for reviewing issued PINs.


In order to assist Councillors with the numerous daily administrative decisions necessary to run the City, the Council may delegate authority to the CEO to make decisions on behalf of Council.

The CEO in turn may choose to sub-delegate authority to City officers.

The delegations to the CEO, and the sub-delegations to City officers, are recorded in a Register of Delegations. The Register of Delegations is open for inspection upon application. To inspect the Register of Delegations, or for more information please call the Legal Information Unit on 07 5581 7483.

Public participation

Council encourages public participation in its decision-making processes, including the development of its local laws, policies and plans.

There are a number of ways you can communicate your views to a decision maker or discussion forum.

For example, you may choose to:

  • Write to Council about any policy, activity or service.
  • Submit a petition addressed to the Council about any issue within Council's jurisdiction.
  • Make a submission. Sometimes Council decisions are open to the public. For example, in certain circumstances a member of the public may submit an objection to a development application. A second example is the local law making process, which invites members of the public to make submissions. Matters which are open for submission are publicly notified in newspapers and on this website.
    • For further information about making a submission about a development application, please see Have your say on a development application.
    • You can check if any local laws are open for community consultation by visiting our Community engagement page.
    • Visit gchaveyoursay, the City's online community engagement hub, to share your comments and suggestions on surveys and discussion forums.

Complaints about a Council decision or action

The City invites both positive and negative feedback about our decisions.

Should you wish to make a complaint about a Council decision, refer to our complaints management process.

Most decisions are open to review, however, please note resolutions of Council are not reviewable.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may wish to contact an external review body about your concerns or to obtain further advice.