Municipality of Woollahra

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Woollahra Municipal Council
New South Wales
Woollahra lga sydney.png
Coordinates 33°53′S 151°15′E / 33.883°S 151.250°E / -33.883; 151.250Coordinates: 33°53′S 151°15′E / 33.883°S 151.250°E / -33.883; 151.250
Population 54,240 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density 4,520/km2 (11,700/sq mi)
Established April 1860
Area 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi)
Mayor Peter Cavanagh (Liberal)
Council seat Double Bay
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Wentworth
Woollahra municipal council.jpg
Website Woollahra Municipal Council
LGAs around Woollahra Municipal Council:
Sydney Harbour Sydney Harbour Tasman Sea
Sydney Woollahra Municipal Council Waverley
Sydney Randwick Waverley

Woollahra Municipal Council (or Woollahra Council) is a local government area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Woollahra is bounded by Sydney Harbour in the north, Waverley Council in the east, Randwick City in the south and the City of Sydney in the west.

The administrative centre of Woollahra Municipal Council is located in Double Bay. The Mayor of Woollahra Municipal Council is Cr. Peter Cavanagh, a member of the Liberal Party.

Suburbs in the local government area[edit]

Suburbs in the area include:


At the 2011 Census, there were 52,158 people in the Woollahra local government area, of these 47.1% were male and 52.9% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.2% of the population. The median age of people in the Municipality of Woollahra was 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 15.4% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 16.3% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 43.1% were married and 10.3% were either divorced or separated.[2]

Population growth in the Municipality of Woollahra between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 0.70%; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 3.98%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in Woollahra local government area was significantly lower than the national average.[3] The median weekly income for residents within the Municipality of Woollahra was double the national average.[2][4]

At the 2016 Census, the proportion of residents who stated a religious affiliation with Judaism was in excess of thirty–two times the state and national averages.[1]

Selected historical census data for Woollahra local government area
Census year 2001[3] 2006[4] 2011[2] 2016[1]
Population Estimated residents on census night 49,814 50,161 52,158 54,240
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 19th Decrease 42nd
% of New South Wales population 1.90% 0.75%
% of Australian population 0.26% Decrease 0.25% Decrease 0.24%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
English 23.6% 23.7%
Australian 17.7% 16.8%
Irish 9.0% 9.5%
Scottish 6.9% 7.2%
German 2.7%
top responses
(other than English)
Greek 1.4% Decrease 1.3% Steady 1.3%
Cantonese 1.2% Decrease 1.1% Steady 1.1%
French 1.0% Steady 1.0% Increase 1.1%
Italian 1.2% Decrease 1.1% Decrease 1.0%
Mandarin n/c n/c Increase 0.8%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No religion 15.1% Increase 16.7% Increase 21.7%
Catholic 19.9% Decrease 19.7% Increase 20.2%
Anglican 21.2% Decrease 19.8% Decrease 17.9%
Judaism 13.4% Increase 14.1% Increase 14.2%
Eastern Orthodox 3.0% Increase 3.1% Increase 3.2%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$976 A$1,145 A$1,365
% of Australian median income 209.4% 198.4% 206.2%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,917 A$2,832 A$3,626
% of Australian median income 186.7% 191.2% 209.1%
Household income Median weekly household income A$2,654 A$2,398 A$2,687
% of Australian median income 226.6% 194.3% 186.7%

Woollahra Municipal Council[edit]

Current composition and election method[edit]

Woollahra Municipal Council is composed of fifteen Councillors elected proportionally as five separate wards, each electing three Councillors. Councillors are usually elected for a fixed four-year term of office, however the current Councillors will serve a three-year term until the next election to be held in 2020[5]. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent Council election was held on 9 September 2017, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[6][7][8][9][10]

Party Councillors
  Liberal Party of Australia 8
  Residents First Woollahra 5
  The Greens 2
Total 15

The current Council, elected in 2017, in order of election by ward, is:

Ward Councillor Party Notes
Bellevue Hill Ward[6]   Isabelle Shapiro Liberal
  Nick Maxwell Liberal
  Lucinda Regan Residents First
Cooper Ward[7]   Anthony Marano Liberal
  Luise Elsing Residents First
  Megan McEwin The Greens
Double Bay Ward[8]   Toni Zeltzer Liberal
  Mark Silcocks Residents First
  Richard Shields Liberal
Paddington Ward[9]   Peter Cavanagh Liberal Mayor
  Matthew Robertson The Greens
  Harriet Price Residents First
Vaucluse Ward[10]   Mary-Lou Jarvis Liberal
  Claudia Cullen Residents First
  Susan Wynne Liberal Deputy Mayor

History of Woollahra[edit]

The name 'Woollahra' is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'camp' or 'meeting ground'.[11]

A petition was submitted in 1859 with 144 signatures of local residents from Darling Point, Paddington and Watsons Bay for the formation of the Municipality. With no petition against formation of the Municipality, Woollahra was proclaimed to be named so on 17 April 1860, and gazetted on 20 April 1860. At the first meeting, The Hon. George Thornton was elected as the first Chairman of Woollahra.[11]

In 1947, after previously acquiring 'Iron House' on Ocean Street, in the 1860s, Council transferred to the current site at Redleaf.[11]

Woollahra largely developed as a residential locality. A few small local industries were established in Woollahra, Double Bay and Paddington; but with the residential gentrification of Paddington and Woollahra in the 1960s, most of these cottage industries had vanished by the end of the 20th century.[citation needed]

Woollahra's cultural heritage has been enriched by the influx of people from many different cultural backgrounds. Some of the influential immigrants to Woollahra have been the Chinese market gardeners, who began leasing land in Double Bay gully and Rose Bay in the 1880s; the Portuguese whalers who settled at Watsons Bay in the 19th century, building a church and becoming a part of the village life, and the many Europeans who migrated after World War II and helped change the face of commercial centres such as Double Bay.[citation needed]

A 2015 review of local government boundaries recommended that the Municipality of Woollahra merge with the Waverley and Randwick councils to form a new council with an area of 58 square kilometres (22 sq mi) and support a population of approximately 274,000.[12] Following an independent review, in May 2016 the NSW Government sought to dismiss the Council and force its amalgamation with Waverley and Randwick councils. Woollahra Council instigated legal action claiming that there was procedural unfairness and that a KPMG report at the centre of merger proposals had been "misleading". The matter was heard before the NSW Court of Appeal who, in December 2016, unanimously dismissed the council's appeal, finding no merit in its arguments that the proposed merger with its neighbouring councils was invalid.[13] In July 2017, the Berejiklian government decided to abandon the forced merger of the Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick local government areas, along with several other proposed forced mergers.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Woollahra (A)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 January 2018.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Woollahra (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012.  Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Woollahra (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Woollahra (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Council Circular 16-44 Election Timing and Cycle of Council Elections". NSW Office of Local Government. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Bellevue Hill Ward". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Cooper Ward". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Double Bay Ward". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Paddington Ward". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Woollahra Municipal Council - Vaucluse Ward". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Jarvis & Kelly (1960). The History of Woollahra. Sydney: Halstead Press. 
  12. ^ "Merger proposal: Randwick City Council, Waverley Council, Woollahra Municipal Council" (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2016. p. 7. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  13. ^ Visentin, Lisa (22 December 2016). "Woollahra loses merger appeal, hints at High Court challenge". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Blumer, Clare; Chettle, Nicole (27 July 2017). "NSW council amalgamations: Mayors fight to claw back court dollars after backflip on merger". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 

External links[edit]