City of Cockburn, PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, 6965
Telephone: (08) 9411 3444

What are the Levels of Government and where does the
City of Cockburn fit in?

Federal Government

The Federal Government operates from Canberra and makes decisions on matters that affect the whole of Australia. It is led by the Prime Minister. Federal has to do with the national Parliament or government rather that state parliaments or governments.

For more information go to:

Parliament House

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State Government

State Government is responsible for looking after many of the different areas that operate within the State such as Education, Main Roads, Railways and Public Housing. State Government is led by the Premier.

For more information go to:

Local Government

Local Government is the level that is closest to the people. It looks after matters affecting the local community such as building and maintaining roads, footpaths, bridges and parks, issuing licences for building, fences, pools and spas, looking after local health matters, and providing services like halls, recreation centres and libraries.

The City of Cockburn is a local government authority.

The Council

The duty of the Council is to listen to the problems and ideas of the people and try to provide them the kind of community they want. However, the Council can only operate within the Local Government Act, the Local Laws and the Local Policies. All Council members are bound by a strict code of ethics and conduct.

The Council consists of 9 Councillors and the Mayor. The Mayor is chief of the Council and presides over Council meetings.  In some communities the Mayor is chosen by the Councillors but in the City of Cockburn, he or she is elected by the people at the Local Government Elections and remains Mayor for 4 years.

How Do You Become a Councillor?

Becoming a Councillor is an important decision. You need to care about your community, be willing to work for the betterment of everyone and be prepared to spend many hours looking after your residents.

Once you have decided to stand for Council, you put forward a nomination for election in the Local Government Elections. If accepted, you then campaign in your Ward to tell people who you are and what you believe you can do for them if elected.

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What Is a Ward?

The City is divided into 3 Wards - West Ward, Central Ward and East Ward.

West Ward includes: Coogee, Hamilton Hill, North Coogee, Spearwood.

Central Ward includes: Beeliar, Bibra Lake, Coolbellup, Henderson, Munster, North Lake, Wattleup, Yangebup.

East Ward includes: Atwell, Aubin Grove, Banjup, Cockburn Central, Hammond Park, Jandakot, Leeming, South Lake, Success, Treeby.

Click to view the Ward Map


On the third Saturday in October every second year (subject to legislative change), Local Government elections are held, including those for the City of Cockburn. The people who live in each Ward elect 3 people to represent their Ward on the Council.

What is the Role of the Mayor?

The Mayor is the head of the Council. In some local governments the Mayor is first elected by the people as a Councillor, then elected to the role of Mayor by the Councillors themselves.

In the City of Cockburn, the Mayor is elected directly by the people.  Logan K Howlett is the Mayor of the City of Cockburn. The Mayor is the leader of the City.

He runs the Council meetings, is the official spokesperson for the City and works with politicians and business people to make sure the City is well looked after.

More Info on our Elected Members

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How does Council Operate?

After the elections, the new Mayor and Councillors are sworn in.

All information on matters that are brought before the Council is gathered by the Council Administration Staff and presented to Council in the form of an AGENDA.

At the Council meeting, the Councillors discuss, debate and make a final decision on the matters before them. Decisions are reached by a majority vote of all the Councillors. These decisions are known as COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.

The Council meets in the Council Chambers, Coleville Cres, Spearwood, once a month.  The meeting starts at 7pm. Special Council meetings are held from time to time to deal with specific matters that must be dealt with urgently. 


Who Looks After the Reception at Cockburn Council
Day-to-Day matters of the City?

There is a large number of staff employed by the Council to carry out the work of looking after the City day to day. They are not elected but appointed and are paid for the work they do. Like every large business or company there has to be someone at the top that will make the important decisions.

Employment at Cockburn


In LOCAL GOVERNMENT this job is done by:

The Chief Executive OfficerStephen Cain - CEO

The Chief Executive Officer, also known as the CEO is the head of the staff that work for the City. He has a team of Senior Staff to assist him in his duties. These highly trained people are experts at what they do and assist the smooth running of the City by looking after their departments. They keep the Chief Executive Officer informed of what is happening in their areas and assist by putting up reports to Council.

In turn the Chief Executive Officer sees that jobs are being done properly and efficiently, makes sure that the finances of the City are being used correctly and ensures that COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS are carried out.

The CEO in Cockburn is Mr Stephen Cain. He is the chief adviser to the Mayor and the Council.

More Information on Senior Management

The City is divided into five Divisions. The Chief Executive Officer has Directors,  Managers and other staff to look after the different services within these divisions. The divisions are:

  • Executive Support Department
  • Finance and Corporate Services division
  • Community Services Division
  • Planning and Development Division
  • Engineering and Works Division

Executive Support Department

This department provides administration support to the CEO, Mayor and Councillors.

Finance and Corporate Services division

This Division looks after the money and the technology areas of the City. It prepares the budgets for Council's approval and ensures that the City handles its money correctly. Some of the money that helps to run the City comes from the people who own property or land in the City - this is called Rates and is paid each year.

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Where does the money come from?

The City handles large amounts of money - Around $100 million in this financial year! Around $25 million will come from rates. Money also comes from Grants, which are sums of money given to LOCAL GOVERNMENT by the STATE or FEDERAL GOVERNMENT for special projects such as building Community buildings, or constructing roads. It can also come from places like the LOTTERIES COMMISSION.

Council is allowed to borrow money for major projects, but they must pay it back with interest. There is a fee for using some of Council's facilities - such as swimming in the Council pool, registering your dog and having building applications approved. This all helps to pay for looking after the City.

The areas in this Division are:

Community Services Division

Community Services is one of the largest areas of the City.  It is the Division that looks after "people" services and includes the libraries, the South Lakes Leisure Centre and other recreation centres, youth centres and aged care facilities. This Division also looks after security, dog issues, litter and areas of parking and traffic management.

These are all part of the following services:

Library Service

Public Libraries are bright, lively places which anyone in the community can use. It doesn't cost anything to join as a library member, and you will find lots of things to see and do!

There are three libraries in the City of Cockburn. These are: Spearwood, Coolbellup and Success.

Reading is one of the most popular pastimes in the community and public libraries lend books and magazines to people to read for pleasure.

Not only do the libraries have books and magazines, they also have talking books (stories on cassettes), music on tapes and CDs, DVDs, videos, jigsaws, puzzles and games.
There are displays on different subjects and the notice boards will let you know what is happening in and around the community.

Visit the Libraries Website 

Recreation Service

Recreation is any activity you choose to do because of the enjoyment you get from it and can be anything from playing sport to painting pictures.
Local government provides various facilities for leisure activities for everyone in the community from babies through to grand parents.

View Recreation Services Info

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Ranger Services

The City Rangers' role is to ensure the enjoyment of the day-to-day lives for all citizens of the City of Cockburn. Rangers are on duty 7 days a week to facilitate the adherence of the City's local laws and regulations.

If you require the service of a ranger, contact the council office on 9411 3444. 

View Ranger Services Info 



CoSafe Security Services 

The CoSafe Security Service is a high profile patrol service with a role to observe and report any suspicious and or criminal acts to Police and provide a level of quick response to residents of Cockburn.




 What services does the Community Security provide?

  • High visibility patrol.
  • An eyes and ears service for the Police
  • Responds to calls of suspicious activities, intruders, prowlers etc
  • Attend to disorderly and antisocial activities such as loitering, vandalism, street drinking etc
  • Attend noisy parties whether on private or Council property.
  • Attend security alarms on homes Council buildings. However it should be noted that the security officers have no authority to check past the front of a privately owned residence.
  • Attend criminal acts such as thefts break-ins etc. However such acts should still be reported to Police.
  • Attend community safety issues such as assisting at traffic accidents, fallen trees flooding etc and assist with traffic control and clean up
    Assist the SES & Police looking for missing persons
  • Remove obstructions from roads etc
  • Detect and report Graffiti, abandoned vehicles etc

How do we measure the Community Security Service's performance?

The City of Cockburn has 3 Key Performance Indicators as listed below:

  • Respond to a call for assistance within 10 minutes.
  • Customer Contact - One person (resident of Cockburn) per shift per zone to be spoken to on a proactive basis by security staff.
  • Suburb Coverage - every street in each suburb to be patrolled once every three days.

View Community Security Services Info


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Access and Inclusion

In the City of Cockburn there are several Senior Centres where older people can go for fun and relaxation and to make new friends.

Cockburn Community Care provides a wide range of care services for frail, aged and younger people with disabilities funded by Sate and Commonwealth Government initiatives. The service is based at the Jean Willis Centre, on the corner of Healy Road and Ingram Street in Hamilton Hill.

The main office is staffed for community contact between the hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. 

Jean Willis Centre
  • Cockburn Centre Day Care

    There are 2 Centre Day Care Programs operating within the City of Cockburn: Hamilton Hill and Beeliar Community Centre.

    The Day Centre provides a wide and varied range of activities and outings, which are client focussed to cater to the physical, social and emotional needs of all members. Lunch and refreshments are included in the day program. Transport is provided to and from the Centre in specially equipped vehicles, to allow easy access for people with physical disabilities. i.e. Wheelchair access.

    Planning and Development Division

    This division includes:

    Building Services

    This Division looks after the building and planning areas of the City. It also looks after the environmental health.

    To understand how the Building Department works let's look at a typical house building project

    1. The builder submits to the Council 2 copies of the house plans. One is kept as a record and the other is returned to the builder along with a LICENCE, which allows him to start building.
    2. Before he is given a licence the plans have to be checked against the Building Regulations to make sure that the building follows the regulations.
    3. When the builder is building the house the Building Surveyors from the City make regular visits to check that the right building materials and methods of construction are being used, and that the builder is following the approved plans.

    Commercial buildings like shops and factories are also checked to ensure they meet all fire safety requirements. Swimming pools and spas have very strict laws guiding them to help prevent young children from drowning.

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    Health Services

    The people who work in the Health Department are called Environmental Health Officers. This doesn't mean they deal with trees and wildlife!

    They look after the many things in our environment that are bad for our health and could make us ill. Pests, such as mosquitoes and rats and even excessive noise! They inspect restaurants and other places where food is prepared to make sure that these places are kept clean and healthy.

    If there are any outbreaks of food poisoning or other diseases the Health Department is notified by Doctors or the Hospital. The problem is investigated by Environmental Health Officers to prevent the disease from spreading through the community.

     View Health Services Pages

    Statutory Planning Services

    The City's Statutory Planning team is responsible for the 'day to day' processing of development applications, land rezoning applications, subdivision and strata application referrals from the Western Australian Planning Commission, Zoning Statements and ensures Development Compliance within the district. Some key projects we have been involved with include Port Coogee, Cockburn Central, Australian Marine Complex, and establishment of new residential areas along the Kwinana Freeway.

    Strategic Planning Services

    This City's Strategic Planning team is responsible for 'forward thinking' through the assessment and preparation of structure plans, project management of new living projects - revialisation of our older suburbs (eg Coolbelup, Southwell), implementation of Councils local commercial strategy, review of council's Bike Plan & Trails Master Plan and numerous other strategic projects.

    Land Administration Services

    There are several different types of land throughout the City of Cockburn that the City directly Manages:

    • Freehold Land - Land that is privately owned by the City
    • Crown Reserves - Land that is owned by the State but is managed by the Council
    • Leased Land - Similar to freehold land, but is leased by the City for a fixed period of time
    • Road and Pedestrian Access Ways - This land is generally between the fence lines on either side. The City has management rights to this land for it's road pavement, footpaths, landscapes etc.
    • Land Administration - This department keeps a record of the different land types. People who are interested in finding out information about ownership, areas or these different land types, can contact the Land Admin Department.

    Other jobs that the Land Admin Department does include:

    • Buying land for roads and other council purposes
    • Selling land no longer required for specific purposes
    • Leasing land to organisations such as sporting groups, carparks, cafes etc.

    View the Land Administration Pages

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    Engineering and Works Division

    This Division is made up of:

    • Parks services
    • Road construction services
    • Road design services
    • Facilities and plant services
    • Recycling services
    • Environmental Management services
    • Landfill and Recycling services

    View the Engineering Services Pages

    Environmental Management Services

    The Environmental Services Section is responsible for maintaining Council's conservation reserves and dealing with environmental issues ranging from providing advice to reviewing applications for development. Staff also offer support and encourage voluntary groups to be actively involved in conservation work.

    The Environmental Health Officers monitor and control all of the areas around the City and other environmental health issues to help make our City a healthy and pleasant place to live.

    Landfill Facility services

    Henderson Landfill Site is located at Rockingham Road, Henderson, approximately two kilometres south of Russell Road intersection.

    Entry to the Landfill Site is by presentation of a current City of Cockburn Tip Pass or payment of the relevant tip entry fee.

    Henderson Landfill site is not a green waste facility.  Green waste will only be accepted from City of Cockburn residents presenting a current City of Cockburn Trailer Pass.

    The Green Waste Facility is located at the Regional Resource Recovery centre (RRRC) in banister Road, Canning Vale 9256 9555.

    Staff in the Engineering area investigate the need for roads, paths and drainage, and then design and estimate how much it will cost.

    The operations staff are responsible for the actual building of all projects and getting the equipment like dumpers and graders needed to do the job.
    Every day all the homes, shops, factories and schools in the City of Cockburn gather heaps and heaps of rubbish.

    Once, all we did was dump everything in the bin and each week a garbage man would collect it and take it to the Rubbish Tip where it was buried and left to rot.

    Soon we began using packaging, like plastics, which would not rot! This caused many problems and began to have a very bad effect on our environment.

    Through research and technology, it was found that that if we crushed, minced, melted, ground up, or shredded our rubbish most of it could be made into something else and be used again! Recycling!

    Machines were invented to do this and now there is hardly anything we throw away that cannot be used again!

    Recycle - That is the Message!

    How Can You Help?

    The City of Cockburn makes it easy! Every household has two bins - a general rubbish bin and a recycling bin. Check your recycling information sheet and make sure anything that can be recycled goes into the yellow-topped bin. For more information on recycling and the RRRC go to and have a look at the great things that are happening in Cockburn!


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    Recycling isn't only sorting out where to put your rubbish.
    Many things around the home can be recycled - clothes, shoes, linen and even toys. Look around your home or school and make a list of all the things you can see that could be made into or used as something else.

    If you have outgrown your clothes, shoes or toys, you can recycle them by putting them in a charity bin, such as Good Samaritan Industries, St Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army. Charities also accept furniture and other household items, so give them a ring.


    Check out the Recycle Shop - open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    So now you know a lot more about how your local government works.

    Who knows, maybe one day, you may work for the City of Cockburn or even become a Councillor or the Mayor!


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    About Cockburn HOME

    Need more Info?

    Phone: 08 9411 3444