How to Have Your Say in Council

All councils in NSW are independent, locally elected corporate bodies. Councils are responsible for making significant decisions that have a far-reaching impact on their community. Local communities are encouraged to have a say in what their council does and how it does it. There are a number of ways that you can participate in a council’s decision making process, such as:

  • Vote at elections
  • Stand for council
  • Attend council meetings
  • Nominate for a Committee
  • Access council information
  • Participate in public consultations
  • Provide feedback
My Council Have Your Say Page


Information on how to have your say in council

Become a Councillor

There is nothing more rewarding than serving in the level of government closest to the community. Local councils need leaders who reflect the diverse nature of their communities and understand what matter to local people.


If you have a keen sense of community and desire to make a difference in your local area, then you should consider becoming a councillor. Visit our Become a councillor page for more information.


Be a Councillor Page



Accessing Council Information

You can apply for access to information held by your local council under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act).

If you would like to apply for access to information held by a council in NSW, you need to apply directly to the relevant council. Contact the council concerned to find out more about the process for seeking access to information through GIPA.

Further information about accessing information that is not publically available can be found on the Information and Privacy Commission’s website at

If you have made a GIPA application to a council and are unhappy with their response, you should contact the NSW Information and Privacy Commission.

Close up lawyer businessman working or reading lawbook in office workplace for consultant lawyer concept.


Information and Privacy Commission

Resolving a problem with your council

A Snapshot of Diversity in Local Government

After each local government elections, the Office of Local Government reviews and analyses diversity information provided by candidates and councillors.

The 2021/22 Candidate and Councillor Diversity Report provides an interesting snapshot of diversity in local government.  Key findings include:

  • 3,854 candidates stood for election for 1,255 councillor positions
  • All councils have at least one female councillor
  • The percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors is above the NSW population percentage
  • 43 per cent of candidates elected to council have had no previous experience as a councillor
  • Other than English, Arabic is the most common language councillors first learned to speak
  • There are only 10 councillors aged between 18 and 24.


Visit the 2021/2022 Candidate and Councillor Diversity Report for more information.



Comparative Council Information

Councils have significant responsibility and autonomy in providing services for their communities. It is important that these services meet the needs of the local community and are provided effectively, efficiently and equitably.

Comparative Council Information


Your Council Website

Your Council Report

Laws and Regulations

Your local council is the best place for you to get information about matters such as:

  • building, development, rezoning and planning
  • rates and charges
  • responsible pet ownership, pet registration and pound management
  • sewage and water management
  • swimming pool registration, inspections and compliance certificates
  • drainage problems
  • planning and resource allocation
  • council performance

The information in this section is provided to assist you to understand your rights and responsibilities, the role of your local council, and the role of the Office of Local Government.

Laws and Regulations


Boat Trailers – Declared Areas

Boat Trailers – Roll Out and Enforcement

Onsite Sewage Management – Septic Tanks

Rates, Charges and Pensioner Concession

Share Bikes – laws and information

Resolving Development or Rezoning Issues