Tweed Shire

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This article is about the Australian local government area. For the Australian regional town, see Tweed Heads, New South Wales. For rivers named Tweed, see Tweed River.
Tweed Shire
New South Wales
Tweed LGA NSW.png
Location within New South Wales
Coordinates 28°20′S 153°23′E / 28.333°S 153.383°E / -28.333; 153.383Coordinates: 28°20′S 153°23′E / 28.333°S 153.383°E / -28.333; 153.383
Population 85,105 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 64.4247/km2 (166.859/sq mi)
Established 1906
Area 1,321.0 km2 (510.0 sq mi)
Mayor Gary Bagnall
Council seat Murwillumbah
Region Northern Rivers
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Richmond
Tweed Shire logo.jpg
Website Tweed Shire
LGAs around Tweed Shire:
Scenic Rim (Qld) Gold Coast (Qld) Tasman Sea
Kyogle Tweed Shire Tasman Sea
Lismore Byron Tasman Sea
Pacific Motorway and Tweed Valley viewed from Duranbah

Tweed Shire is a local government area located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. The shire is located adjacent to the border with Queensland where it meets the Tasman Sea coast. The shire, administered from the town of Murwillumbah, covers an area of 1,321.0 square kilometres (510.0 sq mi), and has existed as a local government entity since 1947. It was named for the Tweed River.

The Mayor of Tweed Shire Council is Cr. Gary Bagnall, an independent politician.


The European history of the Tweed Shire began in 1823 when the Tweed River was discovered by John Oxley. After sheltering on Cook Island, (4 km from the River's mouth), Oxely travelled 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) up river. In 1828, Captain H. J. Rous explored 50 kilometres (31 mi) up the river. Settlers began to arrive in 1828, the first of which were the cedar getters, who came to harvest Great Red Cedars and send them back to England.[2] During the height of the cedar logging industry, the Tweed Valley was one of the wealthiest districts in Australia.

The Municipality of Murwillumbah was created on 25 May 1902, and held its first meeting on 22 August 1902, at which Peter Street was elected its first Mayor. The Shire of Tweed, with its primary centre of population at Tumbulgum on the Tweed River, came into being in the surrounding area on 7 March 1906 with the enactment of the Local Government Act 1906 (NSW). On 1 January 1947, the two amalgamated to form Tweed Shire.[3]

Towns and localities[edit]

Tweed Heads
Tweed Coast
Other localities


At the 2006 census, Tweed Shire had a population of 79,321.[4]

Tweed Region[5] State[6]
Median age 44 42 37
Median weekly individual income $364 $370 $461
 % of residents born overseas 21.1 17.8 31.0
 % Indigenous population 2.9 3.3 2.1

The most popular religious affiliations in descending order in the 2006 census were Anglican, Catholic, no religion, Uniting and Presbyterian. A small but significant Sikh community is based in Murwillumbah.


Year Population
1911 9,514
1921 15,136
1933 17,099
1947 19,321
1954 21,144
1961 22,491
1966 23,154
1976 27,526
1981 40,050
1986 45,690
1991 55,857
1996 66,519
2001 74,577
2006 83,089
2011 85,105


In May 2005, the Governor of New South Wales dismissed the Tweed Shire Council following a public inquiry that found the Council was improperly influenced by developers involved in a property boom in the area. The inquiry was commissioned by the Minister for Local Government, Tony Kelly, following community concern about the way planning decisions were made. The Minister appointed the Director-general of the Department of Local Government, Garry Payne, former Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull and former Tweed Shire councillor, Max Boyd as Administrators for the ensuing three years.[7]

Current composition and election method[edit]

Tweed Shire Council is composed of seven Councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. The 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 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[8]

Party Councillors
  Independents 5
  Australian Greens 1
  Country Labor 1
Total 7

The current Council, elected in 2011, in order of election, is:[8]

Councillor Party Notes
  Warren Polglase Independent
  Katie Milne Greens
  Michael Armstrong Country Labor
  Barry Longland Independent
  Gary Bagnall Independent Mayor[9]
  Carolyn Byrne Independent
  Phil Youngblutt Independent Deputy Mayor

Shire Presidents[edit]

Councillor Term of office Title
C E Cox 1947–1948 Provisional President
A Buckley 1948–1949 President
C E Cox 1949–1957 President
Harold Lundberg 1957–1958 President
Clarrie Hall 1958–1959 President
Harold Lundberg 1959–1961 President
Clarrie Hall 1961–1963 President
Harold Lundberg 1963–1964 President
Clarrie Hall 1964–1973 President
Charles Jarvis 1973–1975 President
Clarrie Hall 1975–1979
died in office
Max Boyd 1979–1981 President
Mrs Y A M Rowse 1981–1984 President
Max Boyd 1984–1999 President
Lynne Beck 1999–2001 President
Warren Polglase 2001–2005 President
vacant 2005–2008 Administrators
Joan van Lieshout 2008–2009 Mayor
Warren Polglase 2009–2010 Mayor
Kevin Skinner 2010–2011 Mayor
Barry Longland 2011–2014 Mayor
Gary Bagnall 2014–present Mayor


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Tweed Shire". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Collier's Encyclopedia. New York: Maxwell Macmillan Communication Group. 
  3. ^ Murwillumbah Historical Society Inc. (8 October 2009). "The Shire of Tweed". Retrieved 3 December 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : Tweed (A) (Local Government Area)". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : Richmond-Tweed (Statistical Region)". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : NSW". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Council sacked after property corruption probe". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Tweed Shire Council: Summary of First Preference and Group Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Election 2012. New South Wales Electoral Commission. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Tweed Shire Council (18 September 2014). "Councillor Gary Bagnall is elected Mayor of Tweed Councillor Phil Youngblutt elected to the position of Deputy Mayor". Retrieved 19 September 2014.