Gwydir Shire

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This article is about the local government area. For the river, see Gwydir River.
Gwydir Shire
New South Wales
Gwydir LGA NSW.png
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates 29°52′S 150°34′E / 29.867°S 150.567°E / -29.867; 150.567Coordinates: 29°52′S 150°34′E / 29.867°S 150.567°E / -29.867; 150.567
Population 5,068 (2015 est)[1]
 • Density 0.53614/km2 (1.38859/sq mi)
Established 17 March 2004 (2004-03-17)
Area 9,452.8 km2 (3,649.7 sq mi)
Mayor John Coulton (Unaligned)
Council seat Bingara[2]
Region New England
State electorate(s) Northern Tablelands
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Gwydir Logo.png
Website Gwydir Shire
LGAs around Gwydir Shire:
Moree Plains Goondiwindi (Qld) Inverell
Moree Plains Gwydir Shire Armidale
Narrabri Tamworth Uralla

Gwydir Shire is a local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The northern boundary of the Shire is located adjacent to the border between New South Wales and Queensland.

The Shire was established on 17 March 2004, when the Yallaroi, Bingara, and a northern portion of the Barraba shires were merged. The seat of the Council is located in the major centre of the area in the town of Bingara. Other major towns include Warialda.

The Mayor of the Gwydir Shire Council is Cr. John Coulton, who is unaligned with any political party.

Towns and localities[edit]

The towns of Gwydir Shire include Warialda and Bingara, and the villages/localities include Bangheet, Caroda, Cobbadah, Coolatai, Copeton, Crooble, Croppa Creek, Dinoga, Elcombe, Gineroi, Gravesend, Gulf Creek, Gundamulda, Myall Creek, North Star, Pallal, Riverview, Upper Bingara, Upper Horton, Warialda Rail, Yagobe, and Yallaroi.


The first local government in the Gwydir region was the Bingara Municipality, incorporated to serve the town of Bingara in early 1889. The town of Warialda followed on 30 March 1900.[3]

With the passage of the Local Government Act 1906 (NSW), which established shires all over New South Wales, the Yallaroi, Gwydir (later Bingara) and Barraba Shires were gazetted on 6 March 1906. The Warialda and Bingara municipalities amalgamated into their respective shires on 29 December 1924 and 17 December 1943 respectively.[3]

On 17 March 2004, the Yallaroi, Bingara and Barraba Shires were abolished. Yallaroi and Bingara were fully amalgamated into the newly formed Gwydir Shire, while Barraba was split between Gwydir, which received 1,259.1 square kilometres (486.1 sq mi) (41%) of its area and 340 people in the former shire's north, and the newly formed Tamworth Regional Council.


At the 2011 census, there were 12,925 people in the Gwydir local government area, of these 50.6 per cent were male and 49.4 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.8 per cent of the population which is marginally above both the national and state averages of 2.5 per cent. The median age of people in the Gwydir Shire was 45 years; higher than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 19.0 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 22.6 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 50.8 per cent were married and 11.1 per cent were either divorced or separated.[4]

Between the 2006 census and the 2011 census the Gwydir Shire experienced negative population growth in both absolute and real terms. 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 Gwydir local government area was significantly lower than the national average. The median weekly income for residents within the Gwydir Shire was significantly below the national average.[4][5]

At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Gwydir local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 92 per cent of all residents (national average was 65.2 per cent). In excess of 77 per cent of all residents in the Gwydir 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 Gwydir local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (2 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a significantly higher proportion (96.7 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent).[4]

Selected historical census data[edit]

Selected historical census data for Gwydir Shire local government area
Census year 2006[5] 2011[4]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 5,311 Decrease 4,965
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 113th
% of New South Wales population 0.07%
% of Australian population 0.03% Decrease 0.02%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Australian 37.4%
English 35.2%
Irish 8.3%
Scottish 8.0%
German 3.3%
top responses
(other than English)
German 0.1% Steady 0.1%
Hindi n/c Increase 0.1%
Filipino n/c Increase 0.1%
Dutch 0.2% Decrease 0.1%
Irish n/c Increase 0.1%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Anglican 45.1% Decrease 43.9%
Catholic 21.2% Increase 21.3%
No religion 8.4% Increase 11.9%
Presbyterian and Reformed 7.8% Decrease 7.4%
Uniting Church 5.1% Decrease 4.7%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$328 A$387
% of Australian median personal income 70.4% Decrease 67.1%
Family income Median weekly family income A$730 A$907
% of Australian median family income 62.3% Decrease 61.2%
Household income Median weekly household income A$612 A$726
% of Australian median household income 59.6% Decrease 58.8%

Historical population data[edit]

Populations for the Yallaroi and Bingara Shires (including municipalities) over time are listed below. Totals are not provided as it is difficult to quantify the component from Bingara Shire. Using the Australian Bureau of Statistics' time series data and census collection district figures for 2006, this component had a population of 591 in 1996, 447 in 2001 and 340 in 2006.


Current composition and election method[edit]

Gwydir Shire Council is made up 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:[6]

Party Councillors
  Independents and Unaligned 9
Total 9

The current Council, elected in 2016, in order of election, is:[6]

Councillor Party Notes
  John Coulton Unaligned Mayor[7]
  Tiffany Galvin Unaligned
  Geoff Smith Unaligned
  David Coulton Unaligned
  Catherine Egan Unaligned Deputy Mayor[7]
  Marilyn Dixon Unaligned
  Jim (Curly) Moore Unaligned
  Stuart Dick Independent
  Frances Young Unaligned


  1. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Gwydir Shire Council". Division of Local Government. Retrieved 30 November 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Graham. "Development of Local Government". Gwydir Shire Council. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Gwydir (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gwydir (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Gwydir Shire Council: Election of Councillors". Local Government Elections 2016. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "2016 council elections: Gwydir Shire mayor John Coulton and deputy Catherine Egan returned unopposed". Northern Daily Leader. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.