Gold Coast City
|City of Gold Coast
Gold Coast in South East Queensland
|• Density||366.6/km2 (949/sq mi)|
|Area||1,358 km2 (524.3 sq mi)|
|Council seat||Surfers Paradise|
|Region||South East Queensland|
|State electorate(s)||Albert, Broadwater, Burleigh, Coomera, Currumbin, Gaven, Mermaid Beach, Mudgeeraba, Southport, Surfers Paradise|
|Federal Division(s)||Fadden, Forde, McPherson, Moncrieff, Wright|
City of Gold Coast is the local government area spanning the Gold Coast, Queensland, and surrounding areas. Based on resident population, it is the second largest local government area in Australia and its council maintains a staff of over 2,500. It was established in 1948, but has existed in its present form since 1995.
By the late 1870s, the Government of Queensland had become preoccupied with the idea of getting local residents to pay through rates for local services, which had become a massive cost to the colony and were undermaintained in many areas. The McIlwraith government initiated the Divisional Boards Act 1879 which created a system of elected divisional boards covering most of Queensland. It was assented by the Governor on 2 October 1879, and on 11 November 1879, the Governor gazetted a list of 74 divisions which would come into existence. Four of these—Nerang, Coomera, Beenleigh and Waterford—were in the Gold Coast region. Southport was developed as both an administrative centre as well as a holiday destination with hotels and guesthouses to cater for visitors. Town dwellers had different needs to the rural landholders so Southport ratepayers lobbied the colonial government to create a separate Divisional Board so that rates monies raised by Southport landholders could be spent on town improvements. This resulted in the establishment of the Southport Division on 14 July 1883 by an amalgamation of part of Nerang Division and part of Coomera Division.
On 31 March 1903, following the enactment of the Local Authorities Act 1902, the divisions became shires. On 12 June 1914, the Town of Coolangatta was created from part of the Shire of Nerang, and on 12 April 1918, Southport became a Town.
Development and growth
On 9 December 1948, as part of a major reorganisation of local government in South East Queensland, an Order in Council created the Town of South Coast by amalgamating Town of Southport, Town of Coolangatta and coastal sections (around Burleigh Heads)of the Shire of Nerang, creating a narrow coastal strip. The same Order abolished all of the earlier Shires and amalgamated most of their area into the new Shire of Albert, with the rest becoming part of the Shire of Beaudesert. The Order came into effect on 10 June 1949, when the first elections were held for the new councils.
On 23 October 1958, the Town of the South Coast adopted the name of Town of Gold Coast, and on 16 May 1959, the Town was proclaimed as the City of Gold Coast by the Governor of Queensland, having met the requirements for city status. Most of what is now regarded as the Gold Coast urban area was at that time located within the Shire of Albert, which had its administrative offices in Nerang-Southport Road, Nerang.
On 19 March 1992, the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission, created two years earlier, produced its report External Boundaries of Local Authorities, and recommended a number of changes to local government boundaries and the amalgamation of some local governments. Although their recommendations only included boundary adjustments between the Gold Coast City and Albert Shire, the outcome following much public debate was a decision by the Queensland Government to absorb Albert Shire into Gold Coast City. The Local Government (Albert, Beaudesert and Gold Coast) Regulation 1994 was gazetted on 16 December 1994, resulting in the amalgamation of the Shire of Albert into Gold Coast City at the 1995 local government elections.
In 2007, as part of a report recommending massive amalgamation of local government in Queensland, the Local Government Reform Commission recommended that the Beenleigh-Eagleby region on the Gold Coast's northern border be transferred to Logan City, on the basis that a common community of interest existed and that planning of the South East Queensland urban footprint would be made more efficient by the change. The area to be excised was estimated by the Commission to have an area of 49 km2 (18.9 sq mi) and a population of 40,148. The change took effect at the 15 March 2008 local government elections.
The Gold Coast has many heritage-listed sites, including those at:
- Main Beach
- Numinbah Valley
- South Stradbroke Island
- Surfers Paradise
- Ruffles Road, Willow Vale: Laurel Hill Farmhouse
Suburbs and localities
City of Gold Coast consists of the following suburbs and localities:
Divisions and councillors
Gold Coast City has been divided into 14 divisions, each electing one councillor at elections held every four years. The most recent local government election was on 28 April 2012. Additionally, a mayor is elected by the entire City. The present mayor is Cr Tom Tate.
Divisional Councillors are:
- Division 1 Cr Donna Gates (Deputy Mayor) - Coomera
- Division 2 Cr William Owen Jones - Helensvale
- Division 3 Cr Cameron Caldwell - Hope Island
- Division 4 Cr Margaret Grummitt - Biggera Waters
- Division 5 Cr Tracey Gilmore - Pacific Pines, Nerang & parts of the Hinterland
- Division 6 Cr Dawn Crichlow - Southport
- Division 7 Cr Lex Bell - Surfers Paradise
- Division 8 Cr Bob La Castra - Ashmore
- Division 9 Cr Glenn Tozer - Mudgeeraba
- Division 10 Cr Paul Taylor - Broadbeach
- Division 11 Cr Jan Grew - Robina
- Division 12 Cr Greg Betts - Burleigh Heads
- Division 13 Cr Daphne McDonald - Palm Beach
- Division 14 Cr Chris Robbins - Coolangatta
Populations are provided below for the Gold Coast (Southport/Coolangatta, South Coast, Gold Coast) and Albert entities. As Albert included the entire Logan City area prior to 1978, figures are only provided from the 1976 census.
The City of Gold Coast has 13 libraries and a mobile library service. and is a member of the Queensland Public Libraries Association. They are located at Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Coolangatta, Elanora, Helensvale, Mudgeeraba, Nerang, Palm Beach, Robina, Runaway Bay, Southport and Upper Coomera.
- Gold Coast University Hospital- to be completed 12/12/12
- Tugun Desalination Plant
- Raising of Hinze Dam
- Gold Coast Oceanway
- Southport Broadwater Parklands
- Gold Coast Rapid Transit System
- Gold Coast Ferry Service
- Rosser Park Regional Botanic Gardens
- Evandale Cultural Precinct including a greenbridge from Evandale Parklands to Chevron Island
- Mermaid Waters Library
- Gold Coast Bold Future
- Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan
- Community bike hire 
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 March 2011). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009–10". Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "External Boundaries of Local Authorities". Electoral and Administrative Review Commission. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Laurel Hill Farmhouse (entry 16672)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Libraries". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- Queensland Public Libraries Association: Membership. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Gold Coast Community Bike Hire