Image by Raphael Rychetsky

GOVERNANCE

1879 Beginnings in Toowoomba 

1913 Then Millmerran

2008 Back in Toowoomba

 

The Beginnings, Toowoomba

When Queensland separated from New South Wales as a colony in its own right in 1859, it inherited New South Wales's local government legislation, the Municipalities Act 1858, which allowed the creation of a municipality with its own elected council to manage local affairs, upon the petition of householders in the area. However, by 1878 only eighteen towns had incorporated in this way.


The Government of Queensland passed the Local Government Act 1878, based on Victorian legislation enacted four years earlier, to allow more diverse forms of local government, but this quickly proved unsuitable to Queensland's requirements given its large, sparsely populated areas.


Its response was to enact the Divisional Boards Act 1879, which established a new form of local government by dividing all unincorporated parts of Queensland into 74 divisions, and creating for each an elected divisional board which was responsible for a range of services and amenities within its area. Each board had a number of councillors, and a chairman who was appointed from amongst their number. The legislation was amended several times before being replaced by the Divisional Boards Act 1887. By 1901, there were 30 municipalities, 6 shires and 120 divisions in Queensland.


The Jondaryan Division was created on 11 November 1879 as one of 74 divisions around Queensland under the Divisional Boards Act 1879 with a population of 1738. The divisional offices were located in Toowoomba, Queensland, outside of the division.


Chairmen of Jondaryan Division

1880-1892: James Taylor

1892-1894: Francis Gore

1894-1896: Gilbert Cory

1896-1919: Charles Campbell


In 1902, the Local Authorities Act (2 Edw. VII, No. 19) replaced all divisions with shires and brought them under the same legislation as that which governed the municipalities. This took effect on 31 March 1903.

With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, Jondaryan Division became Shire of Jondaryan on 31 March 1903. The Shire's offices were located at Snell and Russell Streets, Toowoomba.

Millmerran Shire Council

On The 24 April 1913 Millmerran seceded from the Shire of Jondaryan and separately incorporated as a shire.

The Millmerran Shire Council was a Local Government constituted under the provisions of the Queensland Local Government Act and was proclaimed as such in 1913, with the first Council Meeting being held on 9 July 1913.

Original 1914 photo of the first Chairmen. (attributed to the State Library of Queensland).

The Millmerran Shire Council lodged a submission with the Local Government Reform Commission on the 25 May 2007 in response to the announcement by the State Government that it had embarked on the Local Government reform process to amalgamate shires that were listed as unsustainable. The Shire considered the assessment as "erroneous and inconsistent and it was based on whimsical notions which were of a false representation of the Council's true financial status".


The Millmerran Council received inconsistent responses in the negative. The amalgamation proceeded.

At the time of the 2008 local government amalgamation, the Millmerran Council had consisted of a Mayor and nine (9) Councilors' representing three (3) Divisions within the Shire.

Paul Antonio 2000 - 2008 Mayor

Back in Toowoomba

On the 15 March 2008, under the Local Government (Reform Implementation) Act 2007 passed by the Parliament of Queensland on 10 August 2007, the Shire of Jondaryan merged with the City of Toowoomba and the Shire of Millmerran formed in the Toowoomba Region.

After the amalgamation, the (New) Toowoomba Regional Council was elected on the 15 March 2008.  Toowoomba Mayor Peter Taylor served from 2008–2012, he was formerly the mayor of the Shire of Jondaryan.

Paul Antonio 2012–present Mayor