New South Wales
Location within New South Wales
|Population||29,209 (2011 census)|
|• Density||51.542/km2 (133.494/sq mi)|
|Area||566.7 km2 (218.8 sq mi)|
Byron Shire is a local government area located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. The shire is located adjacent to the Tasman Sea about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of the Queensland border. The shire, administered from the town of Mullumbimby, covers an area of 566.7 square kilometres (218.8 sq mi), and has existed as a local government entity since 1906. The shire was named for Cape Byron, itself named by Captain Cook in May 1770 in honour of Admiral John Byron.
Byron Shire was created on 7 March 1906 under the Shires Act 1906 (NSW) as one of 134 local government areas in regional New South Wales. On 16 May 1906, a temporary council of five members was appointed to administer it, and elections were held in November. On 4 December, the council convened for the first time with William Baker as its inaugural president. William Baker was born in Great Stanmore, England. His cousin, Alfred Joseph Baker was the first person to score a goal in international football against Scotland in 1870.
On 1 July 1908, the Mullumbimby Municipality was created out of part of Byron. On 1 October 1980, the municipality and the shire were re-amalgamated by direction of the Minister for Local Government.
Towns and localities
At the 2011 census, there were 29,209 people in the Byron local government area, of these 48.9 per cent were male and 51.1 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.8 per cent of the population, which was lower than the national and state averages of 2.5 per cent. The median age of people in the Byron Shire area was 42 years, which was slightly higher than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 18.5 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.3 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 38.4 per cent were married and 18.2 per cent were either divorced or separated.
Population growth in the Byron Shira area between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was negative 0.51 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, population growth was 1.54 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78 per cent and 8.32 per cent respectively, population growth in the Byron local government area was significantly lower than the national average. The median weekly income for residents within the Byron Shire area was significantly lower than the national average.
At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Byron local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 78 per cent of all residents (national average was 65.2 per cent). Less than 75 per cent of all residents in the Byron Shire nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was significantly higher than the national average of 50.2 per cent. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Byron local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (8.9 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a slightly higher proportion (88.3 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent).
|Selected historical census data for the Byron Shire local government area|
|Population||Estimated residents on Census night||28,916||28,766||29,209|
|LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales|
|% of New South Wales population||0.42%|
|% of Australian population||0.15%||0.14%||0.14%|
|Cultural and language diversity|
(other than English)
|Median weekly incomes|
|Personal income||Median weekly personal income||A$383||A$477|
|% of Australian median income||82.2%||82.7%|
|Family income||Median weekly family income||A$932||A$1,053|
|% of Australian median income||79.6%||71.1%|
|Household income||Median weekly household income||A$738||A$885|
|% of Australian median income||71.9%||71.7%|
The table below gives a picture of the estimated resident population as at the census night. Between 1911 and 1966, data was sourced from the New South Wales Statistical Register, covering the Byron Shire and Mullumbimby Municipality. Since 1976, data was sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the merged Byron Shire.
|Estimated resident population|
|Merged Byron Shire|
Current composition and election method
Byron Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors, including the Mayor, for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is directly elected while the eight other Councillors are elected proportionally as one entire ward. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council, including the Mayor, is as follows:
|Independents and Unaligned||5|
|Our Sustainable Future||1|
The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election, is:
|Rose Wanchap||Independent - defected from Greens||Elected on Simon Richardson's ticket|
|Chris Cubis||Independent||Elected on Diane Woods' ticket|
|Duncan Dey||Greens||Elected on Simon Richardson's ticket|
|Basil Cameron||Our Sustainable Future|
|Alan Hunter||Independent||Elected on Diane Woods' ticket|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Byron Shire". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Byron (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Byron (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
- "Byron Shire Council - Mayoral Election". Local Government Election 2012. New South Wales Electoral Commission. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Byron Shire Council: Summary of First Preference and Group Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Election 2012. New South Wales Electoral Commission. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.