Lake Macquarie History

Lake Macquarie Council History

Lake Macquarie was proclaimed a shire on 16 May 1906.

The shire's first local election was conducted on Saturday 24 November 1906, when the community elected six councillors to represent three ridings - namely "A", "B" and "C" ridings.

The first elected Council held its initial meeting at the Teralba Court House on Saturday 8 December 1906.

Councillor Sydney Croudace was unanimously elected President, for the remaining term of that Council, which extended until 1 February 1908. The Presidential allowance was fixed at fifty pounds per annum.

Commencing on 29th December, 1906 meetings of the Lake Macquarie Shire Council and the council offices were located in a rented house at 32 Kelton Street Cardiff, next to the Police Station. This premesis was the council headquarters until the new purpose built council chambers were opened. This house was demolished in 2007.

photo: first council chambers

In 1913, the Lake Macquarie Land Company donated land at the corner of Main Road and Council Street, Speers Point, for a Council Chamber. On 30 June 1914, Council accepted a tender from Messrs Southon and Waller in the sum of £2,299 for the construction of a Shire Office and Council Chambers.

That Council Chamber was first used for the Council meeting held on Saturday 8 May 1915, and the building was officially opened on Saturday 26th June 1915.

photo: second council chambers

A new Council Chamber and Shire Office building was erected in 1955, at the corner of Main Road and Park Street, Speers Point - opposite the former building. The Hon J B Renshaw MLA, Minister for Public Works and Local Government, officially opened this on 5 November 1955.

In February 1976, the Council commissioned Civil and Civic Pty Ltd to undertake the first stage of the design of a new administration building. Council subsequently appointed the company as managers to complete the design and supervise construction. Wills, Denoon, and Partners were appointed the Project Architects.

In October 1977, the Council accepted a tender from Civil and Civic Pty Ltd in association with Wills, Denoon, and Partners Pty Ltd to design and construct Stage II in four phases.

photo: third council chambers

Stage 1 of the new Administration Building was officially opened by the Premier of NSW, the Hon. Neville Wran QC MLA, on 12 August 1977. The Minister for Local Government and Minister for Roads, the Hon H F Jensen MP, opened Stage II of the building on 31 August 1979. The Administration Building was built at a cost of approximately $4.5 million.

The Shire of Lake Macquarie was proclaimed as a municipality from 1 January 1977 and became a city on 7 September 1984.

The book "100 Years of Local Government in Lake Macquarie" was first published in 1981 and revised in 2006.The publication is a historical record of membership to Council, listing the names of elected members, shire presidents, mayors, deputies, and chief executives since the introduction of local government to Lake Macquarie in 1906. Variations to electoral divisions and significant changes in legislation affecting local government elections are also included.