Central Darling Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors elected proportionally as three separate wards, each electing three Councillors. 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:
The principle economic activities within the Shire include pastoral, horticultural, agricultural, mining and tourism. Rural grazing properties represent the largest land use within the Shire, accounting for 97% of the entire area. Major horticultural and agricultural production is centred on Menindee. The relative ease of access to water from the Darling River and Menindee Lakes Storage Scheme enables producers to grow a large variety of crops and fruits.
Opal mining has been the predominant mining industry within the Shire. Opal was discovered in White Cliffs in 1884 and the first commercial opal field commenced operation in 1890, reaching its peak in 1899.