Gunnedah Shire

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Gunnedah Shire
New South Wales
Gunnedah LGA NSW.png
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates 30°58′S 150°15′E / 30.967°S 150.250°E / -30.967; 150.250Coordinates: 30°58′S 150°15′E / 30.967°S 150.250°E / -30.967; 150.250
Population 12,215 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density 2.4459/km2 (6.3349/sq mi)
Established 1980
Area 4,994 km2 (1,928.2 sq mi)
Mayor Jamie Chaffey (Unaligned)
Council seat Gunnedah[2]
Region North West Slopes
State electorate(s) Tamworth
Federal Division(s) New England
Gunnedah Shire Council Logo.jpg
Website Gunnedah Shire
LGAs around Gunnedah Shire:
Narrabri Narrabri Tamworth
Warrumbungle Gunnedah Shire Tamworth
Warrumbungle Liverpool Plains Liverpool Plains

Gunnedah Shire is a local government area in the North West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire is located adjacent to the Liverpool Plains in the Namoi River valley and is traversed by the Oxley Highway and the Kamilaroi Highway.

The Shire was established in 1980 from the amalgamation of the Municipality of Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains Shire.[3] It includes the town of Gunnedah and surrounding villages of Curlewis, Breeza, Carroll, Mullaley, Emerald Hill, Tambar Springs and Kelvin.

The Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council is Cr. Jamie Chaffey, who is unaligned with any political party.[4]


The Gunnedah Shire is situated on the LIverpool Plains between the Nandewar and Great Dividing Ranges, with the tallest hills being 400 to 500 metres (1,300 to 1,600 ft) above sea level.[5] The climate is hot in summer, mild in winter and dry, although heavy rain in catchment areas occasionally cause flooding of the Namoi River. Major floods cut transport links to Gunnedah, briefly isolating it from the outside world. The Gunnedah area is noted for its abundance of native wildlife, including kangaroos, echidnas and koalas. Koalas can often be found in trees within the town, as well as in the surrounding countryside with the help of signs placed by the local tourist centre.


At the 2011 census, there were 12,066 people in the Gunnedah local government area, of which there was an equal number of males and females. Gamilaroi Nation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 11.3% of the population which is four-and-a-half times higher than both the national and state averages. The median age of people in the Gunnedah Shire was 40 years; slightly higher than the national median. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 21.1% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 18.4% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, half were married and 9.9% were either divorced or separated.[6]

Population growth in the Gunnedah Shire between the 2001 census and the 2011 census was nominal. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in the Gunnedah local government area was significantly lower than the national average.[7] The median weekly income for residents within the Gunnedah Shire was significantly below the national average.[6][8]

At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Gunnedah local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 87% of all residents (national average was 65.2%). In excess of 72% of all residents in the Gunnedah Shire nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was significantly higher than the national average of 50.2%. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Gunnedah local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (2.3%) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4%); and a significantly higher proportion (92.9%) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8%).[6]

Selected historical census data for Gunnedah Shire local government area
Census year 2001[7] 2006[8] 2011[6]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 11,976 11,525 12,066
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales
% of New South Wales population 0.17%
% of Australian population 0.06% Steady 0.06% Steady 0.06%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Australian 37.6%
English 30.5%
Irish 8.8%
Scottish 7.6%
German 3.2%
top responses
(other than English)
Mandarin n/c n/c Increase 0.2%
German 0.1% Increase 0.2% Decrease 0.1%
Portuguese n/c n/c Increase 0.1%
Cantonese 0.1% Steady 0.1% Steady 0.1%
Italian 0.2% Decrease n/c Increase 0.1%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Anglican 39.3% Decrease 38.0% Decrease 34.7%
Catholic 27.5% Decrease 27.2% Decrease 26.9%
No Religion 6.7% Increase 9.3% Increase 12.8%
Presbyterian and Reformed 6.9% Decrease 6.1% Decrease 5.4%
Uniting Church 6.5% Decrease 5.6% Decrease 5.0%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$366 A$485
% of Australian median income 78.5% 84.1%
Family income Median weekly family income A$915 A$1,200
% of Australian median income 78.1% 81.0%
Household income Median weekly household income A$714 A$937
% of Australian median income 69.5% 75.9%


Current composition and election method[edit]

Gunnedah Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors elected proportionally as a single ward. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 10 September 2016, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[9]

Party Councillors
  Independents and Unaligned 9
Total 9

The current Council, elected in 2016, in order of election, is:[9]

Councillor Party Notes
  Colleen Fuller Independent
  Jamie Chaffey Independent Mayor[10]
  Rob Hooke Independent
  Murray O'Keefe Unaligned
  Gae Swain Unaligned Deputy Mayor[11]
  John R Campbell Unaligned
  David Moses Independent
  Ann Luke Unaligned
  Owen Hasler Independent


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Gunnedah (A)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 November 2017.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Gunnedah Shire Council". Division of Local Government. Retrieved 10 November 2006. 
  3. ^ Hobson, Marie (2 May 2013). "The 'heart and soul' of Gunnedah". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "About Us". Gunnedah Shire Council. Gunnedah Shire Council. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Gunnedah (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 January 2015.  Edit this at Wikidata
  7. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Gunnedah (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gunnedah (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Gunnedah Shire Council: Election of Councillors". Gunnedah Shire Council. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "COUNCILLOR JAMIE CHAFFEY ELECTED AS MAYOR OF GUNNEDAH SHIRE". Gunnedah Shire Council. October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gunnedah Shire Council Elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor" (Press release). Gunnedah Shire Council. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.