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The range of services provided by Local Government is in response to the needs and priorities determined by local communities. Councils consult widely and prepare strategic management plans in response, which guide their annual programs.

The services can vary greatly from one Council area to another depending upon the Council's geographical location and size, development and growth patterns, and population profile.

Most people recognise that Councils provide a diverse range of services but few people understand quite how wide and diverse the range of services are. For a more complete list of common Council services click here.

Below are some snapshot facts about 5 of the key services that Councils provide:

Local Roads

  • In South Australia, approximately 20% of local Council income is spent on roads and bridges.
  • The capital value of all South Australian roads is approximately $6.16 billion
  • Local government roads represent 76% of the state's total roads network.
  • South Australia has a total of 74,469 kilometres of road. (1)
  • In one long road, all South Australia's roads would stretch from Perth to Brisbane nearly 17 times.
  • 65.3% of local Council residents rated their Council provision and maintenance of footpaths, roads and cycle tracks, between good and excellent. (2)

bikelane photo

Recycling and Waste Management

  • Local councils manage about 1/3 of total waste in the State. (3)
  • South Australians are some of the best recyclers in the world diverting 26% of recyclable material away from landfills. (4)
  • Each South Australian recycles 50 kg per year of recyclables through local Council collections. (5)
  • Many councils have introduced a three bin kerbside for collection for waste and recycling that can cut 50% of their domestic waste going to landfill and increase recycling collection by 300%. (6)
  • Councils and Zero Waste SA have collected and safely disposed of 61.7 tonnes of household hazardous waste collection in 2005. (7)

photo of recycling girl

Immunisation

  • South Australian Local Government provides 65% of school immunisation costs. (8)
  • South Australia has the highest immunisation rate in Australia. (9)
  • South Australian Local Government has been providing free vaccinations since 1930. (10)
  • In South Australia over 80%, and in some areas up to 95.2% of one year olds, are fully immunised.

immunisation photo

Library Services

  • Local Government provides 90% of recurrent funds for public libraries. (11)
  • South Australia has the highest rate of public library visits in Australia. (12)
  • 52.5% of surveyed residents said that libraries were an extremely important service of local government. (13)
  • 95.6% of surveyed residents said that libraries were an important service of local government. (14)

library photo

Recreation & Sport

  • South Australian Local Government provides for more than 90 recreation organisations, 53 major recreation centres and 112 different sports. (15)
  • South Australia has more than 6000 kilometres of walking trails. (16)
  • 52.4% of local Council residents stated it was extremely important that councils provide and maintain exercise and leisure facilities and 96.4% believed it was important. (17)
  • 32.5% of South Australians have walked for fitness or recration in the last 12 months. (18)

recreation photo

For a more complete list of common Council services click here.

References for facts about Local Government

  1. South Australian Grant Commission report
  2. Roy Morgan Research 2004
  3. Zero Waste SA 2004,  Background Paper to South Australian Waste      
  4. Strategy 2005-2010. Infrastructure and Kerbside Services 
  5. Nolan ITU 2003 Draft Metropolitan Adelaide                      
  6. Ibid 
  7. Hon John Hill 2005 News Release: Councils clean up in funding for recycling      
  8. Immunisation Service Delivery in the Public Sector- A South Australian Local Government Perspective - National Conference Presentation, November 2004
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid                  
  11. ABS Catalogue 4183.0 Cultural funding by Government
  12. PLAIN Central Services 2000-2001 Statistical Bulletin 
  13. Roy Morgan Survey 2004
  14. Ibid
  15. Website http://www.ors.sa.gov.au/
  16. Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport, 2002, Participation in exercise, recreation and sport. 
  17. Roy Morgan Survey 2004
  18. Ibid

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