In the Australian federal system there are three levels of government:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Local.

Each level of government is centred on a body (parliament or council) democratically elected by the people as their representatives and each level of government has its own responsibilities, though many responsibilities are shared in various ways.

Ipswich City Council - Local Government

  • Ipswich City Council is a local government council - part of the third or lowest level of government in Australia, often seen as being the most accessible to the people. Local government bodies such as Council have specific responsibilities, duties and limitations on their areas of responsibility or influence.
  • For concerns involving an area of government where local council is unable to act or advise you may wish to contact your state or federal government representative.
  • The Queensland Government Gateway is the primary online entry point to Queensland State Government services and information.
  • For more information about the federal parliament (House of Representatives and Senate) visit the Parliament of Australia website.

Council Functions and Powers

  • Ipswich City Council is empowered under the Local Government Act 2009 and associated regulations to adopt a range of local laws and policies.
  • Council is also responsible for ensuring a number of state laws and regulations are observed, including a range of permits and licenses.
  • Most issues are clearly recognised as being governed by either a local, state or federal law. However the interaction of local, state and federal laws can be complex and enquiries are referred to another area of government with the jurisdiction to provide advice on issues outside Council's control. If you are unsure, your local councillor is a good start to obtaining assistance and redirecting any concerns regarding government issues.
  • Council must exercise its powers by a resolution of the full Council, unless it has delegated its powers to the chief executive officer (CEO).
  • See the About Us section of this Publication Scheme for more information about Council meetings.
  • Council may delegate its powers to the CEO (unless the relevant law requires that the power be exercised by resolution). The CEO can also delegate his or her powers from Council or powers they have in their own right to Council officers in particular positions. Delegations are issued to positions (e.g. animal management officer) rather the officer’s name (e.g. John Smith). The CEO is required under the Local Government Act 2009 to keep a register of delegations.

What is an Authorised Person?

  • An 'authorised person/inspector/officer' means a person who is appointed to exercise the powers of an authorised person under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2009 or another act or local law.
  • Unlike a delegation where powers are given to a position, a person being appointed as an authorised person must be a natural person i.e. a position is not appointed (e.g. conservation, parks and sport officer is not appointed, it is 'John Smith' who is the actual officer in that position).

General Information About Councils