History of regional council

Footsteps retraced: A brief history of regional councilsDH Dalrymple


Mackay was proclaimed a municipality on September 22, 1869. The first meeting of the Mackay Municipal Council was held in the Court House (North Street) on December 1, 1869.

The first Mayor of Mackay Municipal Council was Alderman David Hay Dalrymple and his fellow Aldermen were Messrs Charles Keeley, Patrick McKenney, John Duffy, John Allen and William McBryde. The Town Clerk was Mr. Thomas Purves.

In 1903, Mackay became a town, under the Mayoralty of C.P. Ready. On August 17, 1918, the Mackay Town Council became the Mackay City Council.


The Pioneer Divisional Board was proclaimed on 11 November 1879 and met for the first time on March 9, 1880 in the Mackay School of Arts, Wood Street.

The first members of the Pioneer Divisional Board were John Ewen Davidson (chairman) and councillors Maurice Hume Black, Robert Martin, Edward Maitland Long, William Hyne, Arthur Kemmis, David Hay Dalrymple, Dyson Lacy and Edmund Stansfeld Rawson. The first board clerk was W.J. McIlroy.

Under the 1902 Local Authorities Act the Pioneer Divisional Board was abolished and its functions were transferred to Pioneer Shire Council which came into being on April 1, 1903. On April 8, 1994, Pioneer Shire was abolished to create a new area of the city of Mackay.


The Shire of Mirani was gazetted on September 4, 1913. George Johnson was the first Chairman of the Mirani Shire Council. Councillors were J.R. Smith, M.F. McMahon, P.J. Goldston, T. Hodgett, C.H. Webster and E. Hannan.

Pioneer Shire Clerk, Mr. Fred Clark acted as Shire Clerk until the appointment of Mr. George Morley. Discussions between the Pioneer and Mirani Shire Councils were being held from February 1914 and by June 1914, the Mirani Shire Council was meeting independently. In October 1915, the council met for the first time in the Oddfellows Hall (Shire Hall), Mirani.


Sarina Shire Council commenced on January 1, 1912, having being gazetted late in 1911. The first meeting of the Sarina Shire Council was held in Nolan’s Hall, Sarina on Saturday, March 2, 1912.

Councillor Alex Innes was elected as Chair. Other councillors present were W.H Nolan, W.R. Williams, J.C. Nicholson and A.E.

Looking Back & Moving Forward