Council's Local Laws

The Local Government Act 1995 enables Western Australian local governments to make local laws considered necessary for the good government of their districts. Laws can only be made when authorised by the Local Government Act 1995 or other written laws but cannot be inconsistent with any State or Federal law. The types of laws made by local governments cover areas such as car parking, activities on thoroughfares, public places and council and committee meetings.

Local laws are defined as subsidiary legislation which are capable of disallowance by either House of Parliament under section 42 of the Interpretation Act 1984. Disallowance is the device by which the Parliament maintains control of the power to make subsidiary legislation that it has delegated, by primary legislation (Acts of Parliament), to local governments, State Departments and other agencies of Government. In the case of local governments, this power is granted by the Local Government Act 1995 and other particular Acts such as the Health Act 1911 and the Dog Act 1976.

Other accountability mechanisms impacting on local laws are:

  • the local community, which under the Act is required to be consulted on proposed local laws;
  • the Minister for Local Government, who is charged with administering the Department of Local Government which monitors local law making;
  • the power of the Minister to request the Governor to make local laws that repeal or amend local laws or prevent certain local laws being made; and
  • the courts, which can pronounce on the validity of local laws.

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