The Shire is the largest local government area in coastal New South Wales, with an area of 6,280 square kilometres (2,420 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 population as of the 2006 Census was 31,062.
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: