The Shire is the largest local government area in coastal New South Wales, with an area of 6,279 square kilometres (2,424 sq mi), and has the longest coastline of any local government area in the state. It is sparsely populated, largely because 75% of the area belongs to various national parks and state forests. The estimated population at June 2012 was 33,259.
Bega Valley Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council is as follows: