Of the three tiers of government, Commonwealth, State and Local, Local Government has the greatest impact on the day to day lives of residents.
The Shire of Northam obtains funding through local taxes in the form of rates, the sale of goods and services and from grants obtained through the State and Commonwealth.
Funding is used to resource a number of roles and responsibilities that include:
- Local infrastructure maintenance such as local roads, bridges, footpaths, verges, drainage and waste management.
- Provision of recreation facilities such as parks, camping grounds, sports complexes and swimming pools.
- Provision of cultural facilities such as libraries.
- Enforcement of local law such as water and food inspections, ranger services, noise control.
- Provision of community activation, care and welfare services including youth and seniors programmes.
- Building services, including inspections, licensing, certifications and enforcement.
- Planning and development approvals
- Promotion of the region as a place of choice to live, work, invest and visit.
The current legislation governing the functions of Local Government is the Local Government Act 1995. A range of additional legislation influences Local Government in Western Australia, particularly in relation to health, environmental management, land use planning, waste management, traffic and road safety, and community governance.
The Local Government Act 1995 requires each Council to have a minimum of six and a maximum of 15 Elected Members, with the number of Elected Members decided by Councils to meet the needs of each Local Government area
The Shire of Northam is divided into four wards, Town (5 Councillors), West (2 Councillors), Central (2 Councillors) and East (1 Councillor), thereby ensuring equal representation and enabling Council to work towards goals, strategies and outcomes that will benefit all residents and ratepayers.
For the individual contact details of your local Councillor or Senior Staff member, please refer to Council Contacts.
Council Meetings are held on the THIRD WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH (excluding January) commencing at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers at 395 Fitzgerald Street, Northam. Meeting dates for 2017 are as follows:
|January - June 2017||July - December 2017|
|25 January 2017
||19 July 2017
|15 February 2017
||16 August 2017
|15 March 2017
||20 September 2017
|19 April 2017
||18 October 2017
|17 May 2017
||15 November 2017
|21 June 2017
||20 December 2017
A Council Forum is held on the Wednesday in the week immediately preceding the Council Meeting. These meetings also commence at 5:30pm and are held in the Council Chambers.
The public are encouraged to attend both Council Meetings and Forums. If questions are to be directed to Council, the public are encouraged to give prior notice in writing so that the information is available at the meeting.
Please refer to the below information sheet in regards to attending the Council Meeting.
Public Information Sheet - Council Meetings
For Agendas and Minutes of Council and Council Advisory Committees, please refer to Agendas & Minutes.
Committees of Council and Community Based Representation
Section 5.8 of the Local Government Act 1995 provides that Council can establish committees of three (3) or more persons. Committees of Council act as advisory bodies to Council as a whole, they hold meetings, discuss matters relevant to that particular committee, can make recommendations to Council but cannot make a decisions. Councillors, staff and/or members of the community may be appointed to a Committee of Council. Those appointed members remain until (a) the person no longer holds the office by virtue of which the person becomes a member, or is no longer the Chief Executive Officer, or the Chief Executive Officer's representative, as the case may be; (b) the person resigns from membership of the committee; (c) the committee is disbanded; or (d) the next ordinary election day.
From time to time, Council is requested to nominate a Council member to represent the Council on committees of external organisations. These committees are independent of Council. Community based committees are an important part of the social structure of the wider community and give residents and ratepayers a voice in 'their' community. They also allow feedback to Council of Community concerns and ideas.
Community Based Committee Representation (2015 to 2017)
Membership-Advisory Committees of Council (2015 to 2017)
Council elections are held October of every second year. The next Local Government Elections will be held in 2017. Voting in Local Government elections is not compulsory; however Council encourages every Elector to have their say.
If you want to make a difference in your community and have a say in local decision-making, stand for election as a local government councillor. Information about standing for council can be obtained from the Department of Local Government & Regional Development website at:
Department of Local Government & Communities - Website - Local Government Elections
Fact Sheet 2 - The Role of a Council Member
Fact Sheet 3 - Council Members’ Responsibilities and Rights
Fact Sheet 4 - Nominating to be a Council Member
Fact Sheet 8 -What happens when you become a Council Member
Standing for Council Presentation
If you are enrolled with the electoral commission to vote in a ward that is up for election your name will automatically be to the Electoral Roll. If you are unsure weather you are enrolled, you can download and complete the Enrolment form given below and return it to the shire offices.
Click Here to Download the Enrolment Form
People who own but do not reside at property within the shire are still eligible to vote. You may enroll up to two Owners/Nominees per property by filling in the Enrolment form. Each person is only entitled to one vote per ward in which the property is located.
Women In Local Government
The Advisory Committee on Women in Local Government provides advice to the Minister for Local Government on ways of encouraging and assisting women to progress their careers in the Western Australian local government sector either as an employee or a councillor. Further information on Women in Local Government can be obtained by visiting the Department of Local Government & Regional Development website at: