City of Shellharbour

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City of Shellharbour
New South Wales
Shellharbour LGA NSW.png
Location in NSW
Coordinates 34°35′S 150°52′E / 34.583°S 150.867°E / -34.583; 150.867Coordinates: 34°35′S 150°52′E / 34.583°S 150.867°E / -34.583; 150.867
Population 68,460 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density 465.7/km2 (1,206/sq mi)
Established 1996 (as the City of Shellharbour)
Area 147 km2 (56.8 sq mi)
Mayor Marianne Saliba
Council seat Shellharbour City Centre[2]
Region Illawarra
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Shellharbour City Council Logo.png
Website City of Shellharbour
LGAs around City of Shellharbour:
Wingecarribee Wollongong Tasman Sea
Wingecarribee City of Shellharbour Tasman Sea
Wingecarribee Kiama Tasman Sea

The City of Shellharbour is a local government area in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The City is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Sydney and covers the southern suburbs of the Wollongong urban area centred on Shellharbour and it had an estimated population of 68,460 at the 2016 census.

The area is bordered by the City of Wollongong to the north, with the boundary being the Lake Illawarra entrance (and the suburb of Lake Illawarra) and Macquarie Rivulet (Albion Park Rail). The Municipality of Kiama is to the south of the City of Shellharbour.

The Mayor of the Shellharbour City Council is Cr. Marianne Saliba, a member of the Australian Labor Party.


Indigenous occupation of the area, particularly of Bass Point, can be traced back to 17,000 BP.[citation needed]

The area was discovered by Europeans Bass and Flinders in 1796.[3] Free settlers began arriving between 1817 and 1831 and the township was founded in 1851. The Shellharbour (Municipal) Council was constituted on 4 June 1859, and was gazetted as a City in 1996. In May 2009, Shellharbour City Council celebrated its sesquicentenary.[4]

A 2015 review of local government boundaries recommended that the City of Shellharbour merge with the City of Wollongong to form a new council with an area of 831 square kilometres (321 sq mi) and support a population of approximately 276,000.[5] The outcome of an independent review is expected to be completed by mid–2016. On 13 February 2017, the New South Wales Government decided not to forcibly amalgamate Shellharbour Council with Wollongong Council.


The City of Shellharbour contains the following suburbs and localities:


Current composition and election method[edit]

Shellharbour City Council is composed of seven Councillors elected proportionally as a single ward. Under the Local Government (Shellharbour and Wollongong Elections) Act, 2011 (NSW) Councillors are elected to hold office until September 2016. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 3 September 2011 and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[6]

Party Councillors
  Independents 4
  Labor 2
  Liberal 1
Total 7

The current Council, elected in 2011, in order of election, is:[6]

Councillor Party Notes
  Marianne Saliba Labor Mayor
  Kellie Marsh Liberal
  John Murray Labor
  David Boyle Independent Member of ALP
  Paul Rankin Independent Elected under Liberal Party ticket. Resigned from Liberal party. Deputy Mayor.
  Peter Moran Independent Member of Greens
  Helen Stewart Independent

Dismissal of Council[edit]

On 31 March 2008, the Minister for Local Government initiated a public inquiry into the Shellharbour City Council under section 740 of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW). The purpose of the inquiry was to provide advice to the Minister on whether the Council should be dismissed having considered the relationship between Councillors and senior officers of Council; and whether Councillors understood their roles and responsibilities and have adequately acted in the interests of all ratepayers and residents. Richard Colley was appointed to conduct the inquiry and he handed down his findings on 4 July 2008. He recommended that all civic offices at the Shellharbour City Council be declared vacant and that an Administrator be appointed.[7]

Having considered the findings, on 9 July 2008, the Minister, Paul Lynch announced the dismissal of Shellharbour City Council, and appointed David Jesson as the Administrator.[8]


Shellharbour City has many attractions for family entertainment and recreation. In Albion Park Rail there is a Light Rail Museum and steam trains, Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Museum, and Albion Oval; a local sports ground. Shellharbour Village, the beach and playground are also popular attractions. Excellent fishing at Lake Illawarra and superb surfing at Warilla beach. A cycleway goes from Oak Flats to Barrack Point. The Macquarie Valley (Shellharbour) provides scenic views and also includes the Macquarie Pass National Park.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Shellharbour (C)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 July 2017.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Shoalhaven City Council". Department of Local Government. Retrieved 26 November 2006. 
  3. ^ "Bass and Flinders". Australian History. 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Our History". Shellharbour City Council. Retrieved 16 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Merger proposal: Shellharbour City Council, Wollongong City Council" (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2016. p. 7. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Shellharbour City Council election: 3 September 2011". Local Government Elections 2011. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Colley, Richard (4 July 2008). "Shellharbour City Council Public Inquiry Report" (PDF). Division of Local Government. Government of New South Wales. pp. 5–6. ISBN 1-920766-74-X. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Creagh, Sunanda; Gibson, Jano (10 July 2008). "Shellharbour is latest to join the ranks of sacked councils". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 

External links[edit]