How Council works

Kempsey Shire Council is one of 128 local councils across New South Wales. We provide a wide range of services and facilities to our local residents, businesses and visitors, including:

  • waste disposal and recycling
  • local roads, bridges and footpaths
  • water and sewerage
  • community services and facilities
  • public health, including inspections of food premises
  • planning, development and land use
  • playing fields, swimming pools, parks and playgrounds
  • library services
  • animal registration and control
  • environmental management, including pollution, pest and weed control
  • cemeteries
  • community events.


Like all NSW councils, we are guided by a range of laws, regulations and policies. The Local Government Act 1993 provides the legal framework for the operation of councils, including:

  • providing for councils to be democratically elected
  • setting out the responsibilities and powers of councils and councillors
  • allowing councils and councillors to engage with the local community
  • providing for a system of local government that is accountable to the community and sustainable, flexible and effective.

Mayor and Councillors

At local government elections, residents vote for the candidates they think will best represent their interests and vision for the shire.

These elected representatives are known as Councillors.

At the local government elections, residents also vote for candidates for Mayor for Kempsey Shire.

Kempsey Shire Council has nine elected Councillors including the Mayor.


The role of the Mayor and Councillors is to:

  • be active, contributing members of Council
  • make considered and well-informed decisions as Council members
  • represent the interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community
  • facilitate communication between Council and the local community 
  • uphold and accurately represent Council policies and decisions.

The Mayor is the main spokesperson for Council and has civic and ceremonial duties. The Mayor also presides over Council meetings and is a member of all Council committees.

In carrying out their duties, the Mayor and Councillors set Council policy and plan for the future needs of the community. They are not responsible for Council’s day-to-day administration or operational matters. This is the role of the General Manager.

How Council is funded

Council obtains income to carry out its functions from:

  • rates and charges collected from property owners 
  • fees collected from the community for services
  • state and federal government grants
  • loans
  • investments.

Organisational structure

Under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), Council's organisational structure must be determined within 12 months after an ordinary election. See Kempsey Shire Council's Organisational Chart.(PDF, 243KB)

Your participation

Kempsey Shire Council welcomes your participation in its policy and decision-making processes. You can get involved by:

  • voting at local government elections
  • attending Council meetings
  • participating in public meetings, forums, committees and consultations
  • reading Council information and providing feedback
  • standing for Council.