The Shire is governed and administered by the Glenelg Shire Council; its seat of local government and administrative centre is located at the council headquarters in Portland, it also has service centres located in Casterton and Heywood. The Shire is named after the Glenelg River, a major geographical feature that meanders through the LGA.
At the 2001 Census, the population of the Shire was distributed in the following way: Portland: 49.7%, Casterton: 8.7%, Heywood: 6.3%, Dartmoor: 1.3%, Merino: 1.1%, Narrawong: 0.9% and Rural Balance: 32%.
The council meets in the council chambers at the council headquarters in the Portland Municipal Offices, which is also the location of the council's administrative activities. It also provides customer services at both its administrative centre in Portland, and its service centres in Casterton and Heywood.
^ abCensus QuickStats (2011). "Glenelg (S) – LGA22410". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Government of Australia. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
^ abVictoria Government Gazette – Online Archive (1837–1997). Order estg (Part 6) the Shire of Glenelg. "S63 of 1994". State Library of Victoria. State Government of Victoria (published 23 September 1994). p. 5. Retrieved 10 January 2014.Check date values in: |date= (help)
^Victoria Government Gazette – Online Archive (1837–1997). Order altg (Part 7) the Shire of Glenelg. "S4 of 1995". State Library of Victoria. State Government of Victoria (published 20 January 1995). p. 4. Retrieved 10 January 2014.Check date values in: |date= (help)
^Local Government in Victoria. "Glenelg Shire Council". Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure. State Government of Victoria. Retrieved 10 January 2014.