Becoming a city

Becoming a City

Prior to the Shires Act 1905 there was no Council in the area which in 1906 became the Shire of Blacktown. Local Government services up until that time were provided by the Public Works Department. 

The NSW Government Gazette of 16 May 1906 proclaimed that a provisional Council had been appointed for the Shire of Blacktown, with the task of supervising the preparation of lists and rolls of electors and to make the necessary arrangements for the election of the first Council. The boundaries of the three ridings were also set at this time. The Provisional Council consisted of:

  • James Angus, sen., Esq., of Rooty Hill
  • Matthew Pearce, Esq., of Seven Hills
  • Richard Joseph Sherlock, Esq., of Blacktown
  • William Edmund Smith, Esq., of Rooty Hill
  • John James Walters, Esq., of Bungarribi, Blacktown.

After the first meeting of the Provisional Council in the new School of Arts building, Rooty Hill, a Chairman, Mr Richard Joseph Sherlock was elected. The police were instructed to make lists of electors and a clerk was appointed for administrative matters. On 1 November 1906, Mr Hugh Reid of "Upperby", Blacktown Road, was appointed returning officer for the forthcoming election. 

Shire Council

 The first elected Council met on December 1906 in the Blacktown School House, and consisted of: 

  • Thomas Willmot
  • Ronald Edward Donaldson
  • James John Pye
  • Matthew S Pearce
  • James Angus (Snr)
  • Adam Thomas Pringle

Willmot was elected Shire President, and Hugh Reid was appointed as Shire Clerk.

The value of rateable property in the Shire was assessed in June 1907 to be £300,866 ($601,732). Council's revenue was £3,405 ($6,810) and Council spent £1,439 ($2,878) on public works.

The population of the shire at the 1911 Census was 3,847. The Shire covered an area of 102 square miles (264 km2), and the population density was 37.72 people per square mile.

 

Municipal Council

The Shire of Blacktown was proclaimed a Municipality in 1961. Lands have been transferred from Blacktown to Parramatta on 1 July 1957, 13 July 1958 and 1 April 1972. Lands were added to Blacktown from Holroyd in early 1969, and there were further boundary alterations in 1974 with lands being transferred from the Municipalities of Holroyd and Fairfield, to the Blacktown Municipality and other lands transferred from Blacktown to the Municipality of Holroyd. At the end of June 1975, Blacktown Municipal Council consisted of 247 km2. The population was at the 1976 census was 159,724. 

Population Trends for Blacktown Local Government Area.

1940
(est.)

1949
(est.)

1961
(Census)

1966
(Census)

1971
(Census)

1976
(Census)

15,510

27,620

86,295

111,357

133,655

159,724

(Local Government Boundaries Commission: Local Government Boundaries, November 1978, p. 18)

City Council

On 7 March 1979 the Governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler, declared City status for Blacktown Municipality. This came after nearly fifteen years of continuous effort of the Council. The estimated resident population at 30 June 2015 was 332,424. The area of the City was 240 km2 and the population density was 13.84 per hectare.  

Council Chambers

The Council has met in various locations. The first, temporary Council met in the School of Arts at Rooty Hill, then in the Blacktown Public School in Flushcombe Road, Blacktown. Once the first Council was elected, premises in Kildare Road, Blacktown were rented. A building was constructed in Flushcombe Road, Blacktown in 1912, which served the Council until 1939, when a large extension was opened. In 1961 a multi-storey building was built next to the 1939 site and the Council has occupied these premises (with additions) ever since.