Free Interpreting Service for local government authorities

Local Government Authorities 

The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.

Local government authorities (also known as councils, cities or shires) can access the Free Interpreting Service to communicate about most local government services.

Why should local government authorities engage an interpreter?

Australia has rich cultural and linguistic diversity. The 2021 census revealed that over 5.5 million Australians speak a language other than English at home. Furthermore, Australians represent over 250 different ancestries and speak more than 350 languages.

Local government authorities provide essential services to their residents and will sometimes need to engage a credentialed interpreter to communicate with people who have limited or no English language proficiency. This is particularly important when communicating complex or technical information and can facilitate better access to these services.

Using the Free Interpreting Service is easy and convenient. It is quick and simple to register, and you will be connected to a phone interpreter within a few minutes of calling.

Services available to local government authorities

Local government authorities can use the Free Interpreting Service to access interpreting services delivered by TIS National, including:


Local government authorities are eligible to access the Free Interpreting Service to communicate with anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare. The Free Interpreting Service can be used to deliver local government services and activities, including, but not limited to:

  • rates enquiries
  • parking and building permits
  • planning and urban services
  • local government funded community support services
  • emergency preparedness and response activities
  • local government funded library and recreation services
  • parks and public amenities services and maintenance
  • animal safety, control and registration (excludes compliance activities)
  • food or building safety and regulation (excludes compliance activities).

The Free Interpreting Service cannot be used by local government authorities for:

  • local tourism or other commercial activities
  • compliance visits (for example, health and safety inspections)
  • citizenship ceremonies
  • services provided on behalf of another government body (that is, services funded by state, territory or Commonwealth governments).

Register for the Free Interpreting Service 

Each local government authority will need a unique client code to access the service. To register for the Free Interpreting Service, complete the online client registration form on the TIS National website. If you require assistance with registering, contact TIS National on 1300 575 847, or

More information

Free Interpreting Service: 131 450

Download the PDF version of the Free Interpreting Service - local government authorities information sheet
Download the DOC version of the Free Interpreting Service - local government authorities information sheet