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Wollongong City Council

Agency Information Guide

2. How Council's Functions Affect Members of the Public

In performing its role, the functions of Council are many and varied. These are explained on our Structures and Functions of Council page.

As a service organisation the majority of the functions and activities of Council impact the public in one way or another. Examples of each of the broad functions of Council are described below.

We provide a wide range of property and people services that directly impact the public. This includes:

  • Waste removal
  • Sporting facilities
  • Community facilities
  • Stormwater drainage
  • Environmental protection and conservation measures.

The placing of restrictions on developments and buildings to ensure that they meet certain requirements affecting the amenity of the area and not endanger the lives and safety of any person.  Members of the public need to be aware of, and comply with, such regulations and laws, controlling such things as:

  • Activities that can only be carried out with Council approval, for example to operate a public car park or deliver a public address on community land
  • Ordering a person to do, or stop doing, something, for example, to keep fewer animals on specific premises.

These are functions that support or aid the carrying out of other functions of Council, particularly its service and regulatory functions. Ancillary functions only affect some members of the public. Examples include:

  • The power to compulsorily acquire land
  • The power to enter land and buildings to carry out inspections
  • Power under the Roads Act 1993.

These functions relate to the ability of Council to raise income through the collection of different kinds of rates and charges, which directly impacts ratepayers and residents. These functions include:

  • Levying ordinary and special rates
  • Imposing charges for the use of facilities
  • Generating income from business activities
  • Borrowing money or obtaining grant funds.

These functions include the prosecution of offences under relevant legislation. Enforcement functions only impact those members of the public who are in breach of legislation, including:

  • Breaches of the Local Government Act and other relevant legislation
  • Recovery of unpaid rates and charges
  • Parking offences.

Administrative functions are how Council carries out its functions and makes decisions, and how it is made accountable for its actions. These functions indirectly impact the community through the efficient and effective provision of services and include functions relating to:

  • Employing staff
  • Developing long term strategic and management plans
  • The delegation of functions
  • Obtaining insurance coverage
  • Defining meeting procedures and the Code of Meeting Practice PDF, 472.08 KB.