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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Role of Local Government

The aim of this project is to define the role of Local Government, the capabilities required of Local Government to carry out its role, and the opportunities and challenges facing Local Government.

The project is being carried out in two phases:

  1. The objective of the first phase is to define the role of Local Government and identify the core capabilities required to fulfill the role.  Scheduled completion for phase 1 is December 2012. 
  2. The objective of the second phase will be to consider the capabilities of Local Government in the context of the defined role and identify the capability gaps that prevent Local Government from providing optimum services and governance to communities and why the gaps exist.  Scheduled completion for phase 2 is December 2013.

The project is being overseen by the Premier's Local Government Council

Phase 1

A working group was established to guide the project. View the Terms of Reference for the working group PDF icon (PDF, 125KB). Consultation for phase 1 of the project was carried out from 10 October 2012 - 19 November 2012. Download the discussion paper PDF icon (PDF, 470KB).

The Role of Local Government Phase 1 Final Report (December 2012) provides a summary of the outcomes of phase 1 and outlines the process and governance arrangements for phase 2 of the project. Download the report PDF icon (PDF, 387KB).

Phase 2

The Minister for Local Government, Bryan Green, and the President of the Local Government Association of Tasmanian, Cr Barry Easther, launched phase 2 of the project at the 14 May 2013 meeting of the Premier's Local Government Council. A consultation period opened with the launch of the project and concluded on 28 June 2013.

You can download the discussion paper for phase 2 of the project PDF icon (PDF, 1MB). Or download the project background paper and an overview of phase 2 PDF icon (PDF, 174KB).

As a result of the feedback received during the consultation, the eight roles of local government defined in phase 1 of the project have been 'unpacked' into components.  To review the roles and their components refer to the local government roles and components paper.

During July and August 2013, a survey was released to gather a community perspective on the performance of local government in its eight roles.  The Community Survey Report was endorsed by the  Premier's Local Government Council at its meeting on 27 August 2013.

In September 2013 a council self-assessment survey was undertaken by all 29 councils with the local government roles and component statements used as the basis for the survey. The survey assessed the extent to which councils are delivering each role, as well as their level of capability to deliver each role.  The capability assessment is based on pre-identified characteristics which are the same for each role. The Role of Local Government Capability Analysis ReportPDF icon (PDF, 2.43MB) by Stenning & Associates was released in October 2013.

The Local Government Role Assessment Interim Report PDF icon (PDF, 1.2MB) provides a comprehensive assessment of the capacity of local government to deliver its key roles and was recently endorsed for release by the Premier's Local Government Council at its meeting on 10 December 2013.

The Report builds upon the council self-assessment survey and provides a thorough examination of detailed submissions, a community survey and a number of other authoritative reports to build a picture of council strengths and capability gaps.

Feedback has been sought from local government and Tasmanian Government agencies on the Report's findings, and will be incorporated into the final report to go to Premier's Local Government Council in early February 2014.

A Steering Committee has been established to oversee phase 2 of the project. Download the Steering Committee's Terms of Reference PDF icon (PDF, 125KB).

For further information on the project contact the Local Government Division by phone on 6232 7022 or by email at