Find the number of a specific division or office to contact them directly or call Service Tasmania on 1300 135 513.
Use the Tasmanian Government Directory to find staff contact details
Follow our social media accounts to keep up to date with specific programs and initiatives.
Councils are created by state legislation, but operate as an independent sphere of government. There are 3 spheres of government in Australia:
The 3 spheres of government have many shared interests, but each has separate responsibilities.
Councils are often described as the sphere of government ‘closest to the people’. Councillors are elected to represent the views of their electors and in this way give people a chance to have their say on important local issues.
Councils are also:
The Local Government Act, 1993 (the Act) establishes the powers and functions of councils and sets the rules for how councils operate.
Councils can also make local laws, called by-laws, to respond to issues and community needs within a municipality. By-laws complement a council’s responsibilities and powers under both Tasmanian and Australian legislation.
Find out more about:
Under the Act, Tasmanian councils have three very broad functions, namely:
In performing these functions, councils must consult, involve and be accountable to their residents and ratepayers.
A local council is a corporate legal entity, referred to as a body corporate in the Act.
Councils are made up of 2 parts:
This structure is similar to that of a company which has
Councillors, including mayors and deputy mayors, are the elected members who collectively make up the elected council. Elected members make decisions on the overall direction and priorities of the council.
Find out more about the specific roles and responsibilities of elected members.
Councillors receive an allowance for sitting on a council. More information about the process for setting councillor allowances and the current allowance schedule is found on the Councillor Allowances - Information Sheet (Local Government Division, 2018).
The council administration carries out the policies, plans and programs set by the elected council.
A general manager is appointed by the elected council and is responsible for managing the everyday running of the council administration.
Councils employ a range of professionals with expertise to advise and assist council decision-making. A council’s workforce also includes people who carry out specific operational functions such as engineering, planning, environmental, community, health and social work, clerical and administrative functions, various trades and plant operations.
Elected members collectively make decisions at formally constituted council meetings. At council meetings, councillors review council objectives and policies to ensure that decisions are appropriate to the needs and in the best interest of the community. Most council meetings are open to the public.
Find out more about council meetings and decisions, including meeting types and the rules that govern council meetings.
The mayor is the chairperson of council meetings. The mayor is also the spokesperson for the council and must represent accurately the decisions of the council.
More resources can be found at the Local Government Division's resource page.
For more information about how councils work, contact the Local Government Division: