City of Stirling

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City of Stirling
Western Australia
Stirling LGA WA.png
The City of Stirling within the Perth Metropolitan Area
 • Density2,120/km2 (5,490/sq mi)
Area105.2 km2 (40.6 sq mi)
MayorMark Irwin
Council seatStirling
RegionNorth Metropolitan Perth
State electorate(s)
Federal division(s)Curtin, Perth, Stirling
City of Stirling.svg
WebsiteCity of Stirling
LGAs around City of Stirling:
Joondalup and Wanneroo Swan
Indian Ocean City of Stirling Bayswater
Cambridge Vincent

The City of Stirling is a local government area in the northern suburbs of the Western Australian capital city of Perth about 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of Perth's central business district. The City covers an area of 105.2 square kilometres (40.6 sq mi) and has a population of over 223,000, making it the largest local government area by population in Western Australia.


Stirling was established on 24 January 1871 as the Perth Road District under the District Roads Act 1871.[3] The district at that time included what are now the Cities of Wanneroo, Joondalup, Bayswater and Belmont.

With the passage of the Local Government Act 1960, which reformed all road districts into shires, it became the Shire of Perth on 1 July 1961. The Shire of Perth had a population of 84,000 in 1961. It was declared a city and renamed Stirling on 24 January 1971.[3]: 95 [4]

At a meeting of electors in May 2021, electors passed a motion that the City of Stirling be renamed,[5] causing it to be considered at the next council meeting. The rationale for the name change is the personal involvement of James Stirling, the first governor of Western Australia and the namesake of the city, in the Pinjarra Massacre on 28 October 1834.[6] Following the well-conceived ambush and subsequent massacre of 15 to 80 Binjareb Noongar men, women, and children lasting at least one hour that Stirling led personally, Stirling threatened the Noongar people with genocide should they continue to resist colonisation.[7][8][9]: 25 [10] Given historical records of his involvement,[11]

there's no ambiguity in it anymore, Stirling set out to punish the Noongar tribe down there for blocking expansion of the colony. He told everyone what he was going to do, went down there, did it and reported on it.

The motion made national news,[12][13] and sparked a barrage of hateful messages towards the City of Stirling.[14] Among suggestions was for a dual name to be adopted, involving a Noongar name. A report released by the city two weeks later stated that the name change was not a priority, and that there were significant costs associated with any name change.[15] At the council meeting on 8 June 2021, arguments were put forth either way, with one councillor saying "while nobody condoned historical atrocities, a name change would cost 'millions of dollars', would set a dangerous precedent and should be 'nipped in the bud'",[16] but no motions regarding changing the name were carried.[17] The meeting was attended by over 100 people, an unusually high number.[18][16] Shortly afterwards, Western Australian senators called for a broader review of Western Australian "place names, such as Stirling Range, linked to colonial figures with known racist histories ... such as William Dampier, John Forrest and John Septimus Roe."[11]


The city has been divided into seven wards, each of two councillors. Each councillor serves a four-year term, and half-elections are held every two years. The mayor is elected from among the councillors.

  • Balga Ward
  • Coastal Ward
  • Doubleview Ward
  • Hamersley Ward
  • Inglewood Ward
  • Lawley Ward
  • Osborne Ward



City of Stirling offices.
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1911 5,066—    
1921 12,043+9.05%
1933 19,987+4.31%
1947 30,989+3.18%
1954 50,090+7.10%
1961 84,045+7.67%
1966 114,410+6.36%
1971 154,882+6.24%
1976 162,313+0.94%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1981 161,858−0.06%
1986 164,687+0.35%
1991 172,064+0.88%
1996 172,819+0.09%
2001 167,578−0.61%
2006 176,872+1.09%
2011 195,702+2.04%
2016 210,208+1.44%
2021 223,000+1.19%


The City of Stirling holds 6 libraries. They are the:

  • Scarborough Library
  • Karrinyup Library
  • Dianella Library
  • Inglewood Library
  • Mirrabooka Library
  • Osborne Library

Heritage-listed places[edit]

As of 2021, 640 places are heritage-listed in the City of Stirling,[19] of which 19 are on the State Register of Heritage Places.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Stirling (C)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 26 November 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019. Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Municipality Boundary Amendments Register" (PDF). Western Australian Electoral Distribution Commission. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Local Government Act 1960 — Order in Council (per LG 619/69)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 30 October 1970. p. 1970:3346. Nominates 24 January 1971 as effective date.
  5. ^ "Stirling electors want name change". Post. 48 (21). Shenton Park: Post Newspapers. 22 May 2021. p. 7. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  6. ^ Manfield, Evelyn. "City of Stirling to consider changing name under proposal to recognise traditional owners". ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  7. ^ Ryan, Lyndall; Pascoe, William; Debenham, Jennifer; Gilbert, Stephanie; Richards, Jonathan; Smith, Robyn; Owen, Chris; Anders, Robert J; Brown, Mark; Price, Daniel; Newley, Jack; Usher, Kaine (2017). "Pinjarra". Colonial Frontier Massacres in Australia. University of Newcastle. Archived from the original on 8 March 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Register of Heritage Places – Assessment Documentation, Pinjarra Massacre Site 1". Heritage Council of Western Australia. 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 23 December 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  9. ^ Martin, Wayne (5 December 2016). "Aboriginal People at the Periphery" (PDF). 35th Annual Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society Conference. Perth: Curtin Law School. pp. 1–36. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 December 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  10. ^ Collard, Len; Palmer, Dave (May 1996). Nidja Boodjar Binjarup Nyungar, Kura, Yeye, Boorda. Fremantle: Gcalyut Research and Training Project. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3593.0485.
  11. ^ a b Dobson, John; Logan, Tyne (9 June 2021). "Stirling Range named after governor involved in 1834 massacre should be renamed, say WA Greens". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  12. ^ Arnott, Georgina (8 June 2021). "WA's first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?". The Conversation. The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 19 December 2021. Stirling's direction of an 1834 massacre in Pinjarra, south of Perth, means we cannot honour him. Doing so dishonours those killed in that massacre, and its survivors, as well as their descendants.
  13. ^ O'Shea, Ben (11 June 2021). "Mervyn Eades says if Stirling won't change its name, then its reconciliation plan needs to be thrown out". Retrieved 19 December 2021. Early on the morning of October 28, 1834, Stirling and 24 troops cornered about 80 men, women and children in their camp on the river and opened fire from both banks.
  14. ^ Budihardjo, Nadia; Rintoul, Caitlyn. "City of Stirling bombarded with 'hateful messages' over potential name change to include Aboriginal community". The West Australian. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  15. ^ Budihardjo, Nadia. "James Stirling name change not a 'priority': council report". The West Australian. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  16. ^ a b Carmody, James (8 June 2021). "City of Stirling keeps name of governor involved in WA massacre after push to change moniker". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  17. ^ Collard, Sarah (9 June 2021). "Disappointment as Stirling Council fails to change name". NITV News. Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 18 December 2021. The City is named after Western Australia's first governor Sir James Stirling, who instigated one of the state's bloodiest massacres almost 200 years ago.
  18. ^ Traill, Michael. "James Stirling debate: City of Stirling council decides not to change name despite controversial origins". The West Australian. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  19. ^ "City of Stirling Heritage Places". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  20. ^ "City of Stirling State Register of Heritage Places". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 23 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°52′59″S 115°48′36″E / 31.883°S 115.810°E / -31.883; 115.810