Shire vs Council
Shire and council are words that are used for administrative areas in third and lowest tier of governance, top two being federal and state governments. It is the local government that is closely associated with the lives of ordinary citizens, and is variously referred to as council, shire, or local councils. Local government, whether shire or council, come under the supervision of state governments or territories that in turn are beneath federal government in the three tier structure of governance. People are always confused between a shire and a council, though technically they are at the same level in the governance structure and the difference between the two has more to do with the type of settlement and population therein. Let us take a closer look at the difference between a shire and a council.
First and foremost, we have to understand that unlike US and NZ, there are no separate levels of local governance in Australia. Thus, we do not have counties and cities, but only councils and shire that are at the same level. As of today there are 700 councils in the form of local governance in Australia. It is mostly council that we encounter as we go deeper in Australia, though sometimes, words like shire and city are also heard. Despite clear cut single level local governance, there are a few areas with very small population in Australia that do not have a council, and are administered directly by the state government or a specially elected body.
Thus, it is clear that despite different words being used in different states for local governance (and there are Boroughs, cities, councils, shires, rural cities, municipalities, district councils, towns, and so on), they all represent the same local government structure below federal and state governments. If you are a foreigner and happen to be in Australia, there is no need to be confused if you have a council in one state and a shire in another state. Just remember local government area as whether a shire or a council, they have identical functions to perform. Thus, we have cities when local government area (LGA) is a city, but we have a shire when local government area (LGA) is rural in nature. Both a shire and a council have a head called mayor, and elected member bodies that are responsible for waste collection, public recreation facilities and planning and development of the area.
What is the difference between Shire and Council?
· Both shire as well as council are names used to refer to local government area in Australia.
· These are elected member bodies in both shires and councils usually headed by a mayor.
· Shires and councils are concerned with issues that touch daily lives of citizens such as waste management, planning and development, and recreation facilities.