Local laws

​The Local Government Act 1995 enables Western Australian local governments to make local laws considered necessary for the good government of their districts.

Local laws can only be made when authorised by the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) or other written laws, but cannot be inconsistent with any State or federal law.

Local government laws typically cover areas such as car parking, activities on thoroughfares, public places and council and committee meetings.

When a local law is made by a council, it is submitted to Parliament. If the Parliament determine that the local law is inappropriate, the Parliament can disallow the local law meaning it ceases to have effect.  

Other accountability mechanisms affecting local laws are:

  • the local community which, under the Act, must be consulted in relation to proposed local laws
  • the Minister for Local Government who is responsible for administering the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) which monitors local law making
  • the power of the minister to request the Governor to make local laws that repeal or amend local laws or prevent certain local laws being made
  • the courts, which can rule on the validity of local laws.

Local laws register

Search and find local laws in your local government district.

Role of the department

The department monitors and provides advice to assist local governments in making their local laws. It works closely with the Western Australian Local Government Association and the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation to ensure that proposed local laws comply with legislative requirements.

The Act requires that copies of proposed laws be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government and other relevant State ministers to fulfil these requirements. The department examines the proposed local laws on behalf of the Minister and gives specific consideration to:

  • whether the proposed local law is adopted under the correct Act of Parliament
  • whether the proposed local law conflicts with the Act and any other law
  • matters raised previously by the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and
  • State government policy issues.

Role of the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation

The Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation is a committee of the Western Australian Parliament consisting of eight members, with equal representation from the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.

Once a local law is gazetted, it is referred to the committee to consider under its terms of reference. Where the committee finds that a local law offends one or more of its terms of reference, it will usually seek a written undertaking from the local government to amend or repeal the instrument in question.

Where a local government does not comply with the committee’s request for an undertaking, the committee may, as a last resort, resolve to report to the Parliament recommending the disallowance of the instrument in the Legislative Council.

A disallowed local law will cease to have effect from the date on which it is disallowed. If the disallowed local law had amended or repealed another local laws, these changes will be reversed on the day of disallowance.

Local laws process

In making a local law, a local government must follow the procedure set out in Division 2, Part 3 of the Act. The procedural steps are outlined in the local laws process flow chart.

Statutory procedures checklist

Section 3.12 (1) of the Act states that the local law making process must be followed in the sequence in which it is described. This is outlined in the statutory procedures checklist.

Page reviewed 01 November 2021