Local government have broad powers to make a number of by-laws and other associated tools. The following summarises the powers/functions/duties of local governments in each jurisdiction in regards to the power to manage discarded N&S. ACT and NT governments are in effect similar to State governments.

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) Act 1988

s22 Power of Assembly to make laws
  1. Subject to this Part and Part VA, the Assembly has power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Territory.

  2. The power to make laws extends to the power to make laws with respect to the exercise of powers by the Executive.
Note: This is an Australian Government Act.

New South Wales

Local Government Act 1993

Top of pageChapter 6 What are the service functions of councils?

Introduction. This Chapter confers on councils their service or non-regulatory functions. Examples of these functions include the provision, management or operation of:
  • public health services and facilities

  • environment conservation, protection and improvement services and facilities

  • waste removal, treatment and disposal services and facilities
This list of examples is not exhaustive.

Northern Territory

Local Government Act

120. Councils charged with peace, order and good government of area

A council, in the performance of its functions, is charged with the peace, order and good government of its council area and has the control and management of that good government.

Schedule 2
Sections 121(2) and 122(1A) and (1B)

Functions of local government
22C. Public Safety and Security
36. Public Conveniences
37. Sanitation and Garbage
38. Litter Control


Local Government Act 1993

s20 In exercising its jurisdiction of local government, a local government has-
  1. a law making role for local laws; and

  2. an executive role for;

    1. adoption and implementation of policy

    2. administration of local government; and

    3. enforcement of its local laws.
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South Australia

Local Government Act 1999

s7 Functions of a council

The functions of a council include

(b) to provide services and facilities that benefit its area, its ratepayers and residents, and visitors to its area (including general public services or facilities (including electricity, gas and water services, and waste collection, control or disposal services or facilities), health, welfare or community services or facilities, and cultural or recreational services or facilities);

(c) to provide for the welfare, well-being and interests of individuals and groups within its community;

(f) to provide infrastructure for its community and for development within its area (including infrastructure that helps to protect any part of the local or broader community from any hazard or other event, or that assists in the management of any area);

(k) to undertake other functions and activities conferred by or under an Act.


Local Government Act 1993

s20. (1) The council of a municipal area has the following functions:

(a) to formulate, implement and monitor policies, plans and programmes for the provision of appropriate services and facilities to meet the present and future needs of the community;

(e) to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the community;

(f) to represent and promote the interests of the community;

(g) to provide for the peace, order and good government of the municipal area.

(2) In performing its functions, the council may do any one or more of the following either within or outside its municipal area:

(a) develop, implement and monitor programmes to ensure adequate levels of its accountability to the community;
s93. (1) A council may make a service rate for a financial year on rateable land for any, all or a combination of the following services:

(d) waste management;

The range of services councils provide is diverse and spans a broad range of areas including: the environment; planning and development; infrastructure and recycling & waste management (Local Government Association of Tasmania).
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Local Government Act 1989

3C. Objectives of a council
  1. The primary objective of a council is to endeavour to achieve the best outcomes for the local community having regard to the long term and cumulative effects of decisions.

  2. In seeking to achieve its primary objective, a council must have regard to the following facilitating objectives—
(a) to promote the social, economic and environmental viability and sustainability of the municipal district;

(c) to improve the overall quality of life of people in the local community;

3E. What are the functions of a council?
  1. The functions of a council include—
(a) advocating and promoting proposals which are in the best interests of the local community;

(b) planning for and providing services and facilities for the local community;

(f) making and enforcing local laws;

Western Australia

Local Government Act 1995

s3.1. General function
  1. The general function of a local government is to provide for the good government of persons in its district.

  2. The scope of the general function of a local government is to be construed in the context of its other functions under this Act or any other written law and any constraints imposed by this Act or any other written law on the performance of its functions.

  3. A liberal approach is to be taken to the construction of the scope of the general function of a local government.
s3.5. Legislative power of local governments

(1) A local government may make local laws under this Act prescribing all matters that are required or permitted to be prescribed by a local law, or are necessary or convenient to be so prescribed, for it to perform any of its functions under this Act.

(3) The power conferred on a local government by subsection (1) is in addition to any power to make local laws conferred on it by any other Act.

(4) Regulations may set out
  1. matters about which, or purposes for which, local laws are not to be made