Each council is a statutory corporation. The Councillors, meeting as the Council, are the governing body of the corporation. Councillors have the responsibility of directing and controlling the affairs of the Council in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993. Section 232 of the Act sets out the role as follows:
(1) The role of a councillor is, as a member of the governing body of the council:
- to direct and control the affairs of the council in accordance with this Act.
- to participate in the optimum allocation of the council's resources for the benefit of the area.
- to play a key role in the creation and review of the council's policies and objectives and criteria relating to the exercise of the council's regulatory functions.
- to review the performance of the council and its delivery of services, and the management plans and revenue policies of the council.
(2) The role of a councillor is, as an elected person:
- to represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers
- to provide leadership and guidance to the community
- to facilitate communication between the community and the council.
The Mayor of Lane Cove is one of the nine Councillors and is elected, as Mayor, by the Council in September each year. The Mayor continues to have the role of a Councillor and, in addition, has the specific role defined by Section 226 of the Act. This role is:
- to exercise, in cases of necessity,the policy-making functions of the governing body of the council between meetings of the council.
- to exercise such other functions of the council as the council determines.
- to preside at meetings of the council.
- to carry out the civic and cerermonial functions of the mayoral office.
The Council has delegated to the Mayor the following "other functions"
- to authorise any work which in his/her opinion is urgent and the cost not exceeding $5,000 and report such expenditure to the next meeting of Council.
- in conjunction with the General Manager or in their absence to their deputies, to deal with urgent matters arising during the recess in meetings between the last meeting in December dealing with ordinary business and the first meeting in the New Year dealing with ordinary business, in any such case applying Council's policies or, where no such policies exist, exercising due caution.
- to sign cheques in conjunction with one of the other approved signatories.