Local government in Queensland

Local government in the Australian state of Queensland describes the institutions and processes by which towns and districts can manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1993–2007. Queensland is divided into 77 local government areas, which may be called Cities, Towns, Shires, or Regions.[1] Each area has a council that is responsible for providing a range of public services and utilities and derives its income from both rates and charges on resident ratepayers and grants and subsidies from the State and Commonwealth governments.[2]

Types of LGAs in Queensland since 2014:
Red=Aboriginal Shires
Map of local government areas in Queensland: 2008–2013

As bodies which obtain their legitimacy from an Act of the Queensland Parliament, local councils are subordinate rather than sovereign entities[3] and can be created, amalgamated, abolished, or dismissed by the State at will. In modern practice, however, decisions on such matters are made in response to recommendations by independent Reform Commissions, such as the Electoral and Administrative Reform Commission (1990–1993) and the Local Government Reform Commission (2007). Recent reforms, which took effect on 15 March 2008, resulted in over 70% of Queensland's local government areas being amalgamated into larger entities and generated a considerable degree of controversy, even attracting national interest in the context of a federal election campaign.[4]

As a result of Queensland and New South Wales local government amalgamations, Australia's three largest-by-population local government areas are all in Queensland:

Rank Local government area Population
1 City of Brisbane 1,231,605
2 City of Gold Coast 606,774
3 Moreton Bay Region 459,585