Australia has three levels of government – commonwealth, state or territory, and local.
The states and Northern Territory are divided into many local government areas, managed by local councils.
Your local council looks after the area you live in and provides many important services to people in the local community. Councils are funded largely by the rates paid by local property owners. You do not have to own a property to access local government services.
In Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory Government provides local council services as well as many services usually provided by state governments.
Many councils produce council information booklets or new resident kits providing information about local services and facilities (including garbage collection times). These can either be posted to you or collected from the council offices.
Visit your local council or your local library for further information on services available in your neighbourhood. Council telephone numbers and addresses are listed in the White Pages telephone directory under the name of the local district. They are the experts on your local area.

ACT Government – Canberra Connect-NSW - Division of Local Government                 

 NT - NT Government  

QLD - Department of Infrastructure and Planning


SA  - Department of Planning and Local Government                                                                                                

 TAS  - Local Government Association of Tasmania                                                                                                        

 VIC   - Local Government Victoria                                                                                                                  

 WA   - Department of Local Government  

Local government services
Councils maintain the local roads, provide public toilets, and make sure shops and restaurants meet proper health standards. They control building developments, and if you want to make changes to your property, you must check with your local council that you have approval.
Local councils often provide public halls, sporting, recreational and cultural facilities for community groups to use. Councils can also provide a wide range of support services such as child health centres, child
care centres, youth workers, and aged care and disability services.
Local council services may need to be paid for. Fees are published in brochures and council websites. You should not pay extra money or gifts to public officials to secure a decision or approval. To make such offers is considered to be bribery and is illegal.


Australian Government Regional Information Service
The Australian Government Regional Information Service (AGRIS) is an information service about Australian Government services and programs for people living in rural and regional Australia. The Regional Entry Point helps you find information about a range of Australian Government programs and services for individuals, families, communities, farms and businesses in rural, regional and remote Australia.While these are not local government services they may be of interest to people migrating to areas outside the major cities.


Telephone 1800 026 222


Adventurer, Writer and Backpacker Jason is a recent migrant to Australia. He has created the Migrant Ninja Series as a platform to guide all future migrants to Australia!