Theories of strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) emphasise the need to understand and effectively manage the workforce, and to align HRM practices with organisational strategy. Local government in Victoria was radically revised in 1993-94 with forced amalgamations, and later the introduction of Best Value Principles. Alongside this have been changes to council workforces. This article explores the composition of these workforces, and seeks to understand if strategic HRM practices underpin their management. It reports that in addition to the known and managed internal workforce, many councils have an external workforce which includes temporary staff, independent contractors, those working for external contractors, volunteers, work placement students and trainees. There is little evidence that theories of strategic HRM have been used to produce workforce planning strategies and policies relating to these staff, or that their management has been strategically aligned and reviewed to align with council strategies and business plans.