Town of Brisbane

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Brisbane's first Town Hall, ca. 1870
Early street scene featuring Brisbane's first Town Hall, circa 1895

The Town of Brisbane was a local government area for Brisbane in Queensland, Australia from 1859 to 1903.[1]


Map of Borough of Brisbane and adjacent local government areas, March 1902.

The Municipality of Brisbane was gazetted on 25 May 1859 and proclaimed by the Governor of New South Wales on 7 September 1859. The first local government area in Queensland, Brisbane was the only one incorporated prior to the establishment of Queensland as a separate colony.[2]

After the passing of the Municipal Institutions Act 1864 the area could establish a municipal council to administer the district – with powers relating to by-laws, to rating, to borrowings, to the control or regulation of public infrastructure and utilities, and to the provision of public amenities such as gardens and hospitals. The council was led by a mayor and the role was generally rotated among the aldermen. Thus many mayors served for only one year and some served multiple times some years apart. The council "year" commenced and ended in about February to avoid a change-over during the summer holidays, so the mayor for 1890 would, strictly speaking, be the mayor into early 1891. Most of the early aldermen and mayors of the Municipality of Brisbane were prominent local men rather than representatives of political parties.

The foundation stone of Brisbane's first town hall in Queen Street was laid on 28 January 1864 by Queensland Governor George Bowen.[3] It was designed by William Coote.[4][5]

On 7 January 1888, a separate Town of South Brisbane was created out of the South Ward of the Municipality of Brisbane (together with the Woolloongabba Division).

On 13 January 1903, the Booroodabin Division was abolished and absorbed into the Town of Brisbane.[6]

The Local Authorities Act 1902 consolidated local government and established two classes: Towns and Shires, with the additional provision for Towns to be proclaimed as Cities. Accordingly, Brisbane municipality was proclaimed a city from the date of commencement of the Act, 31 March 1903, and its governing body became the City of Brisbane.

The first town hall was used until January 1928, after which the business of the City of Brisbane was conducted from the new (almost complete) Brisbane City Hall.[3][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Agency ID 10315, Brisbane Municipal Council". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  2. ^ Larcombe, F.A. (Frederick) (1973). The Origin of Local Government in New South Wales 1831–58. Sydney University Press. p. 274. ISBN 0-424-06610-6.
  3. ^ a b "THE OLD TOWN HALL HISTORIC CHAMBER DISMANTLED". The Week. CV (2, 715). Brisbane. 6 January 1928. p. 24. Retrieved 23 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Morrison, A. A., "Coote, William (1822–1898)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 26 April 2020
  5. ^ "TELEGRAPHIC". The Brisbane Courier. Queensland, Australia. 10 January 1866. p. 2. Retrieved 26 April 2020 – via Trove.
  6. ^ "Agency ID 346, Booroodabin Divisional Board". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  7. ^ "THE CITY HALL". The Week. CV (2, 715). Brisbane. 6 January 1928. p. 24. Retrieved 23 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.

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Coordinates: 27°28′01″S 153°01′16″E / 27.467°S 153.021°E / -27.467; 153.021