The History of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is the result of an amalgamation of two councils that were once based in Port Macquarie and Wauchope.
Port Macquarie was proclaimed a municipality in 1887, in the Government Gazette 15 March 1887. The Council was elected on 25 May 1887 and the first Council meeting was held on 7 June 1887. The first Mayor was James McInherney. At this time the population was 900 and 118 people voted. Administration was based in the Good Templar's Hall at a cost of $339.75. The Headquarters was moved to Hay Street in 1965 and then to Burrawan Street in 1991.
The Local Government (Shires) Act 1905 came into operation in NSW on 26 February 1906. A temporary Hastings Shire Council has appointed. Hastings Shire Council was constituted in June 1906 and in November 1906 the first elections were held. The first President of the Hastings Shire Council was Mr Patrick Joseph O'Neill. The first Hastings Shire Council meeting was held on 4 December 1906.
The Amalgamation of two Councils to make Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
The amalgamation of the Port Macquarie Municipal Council and the Hastings Shire Council in 1981 marked one of the most significant changes in local government in the region. The amalgamated council was called Hastings Municipal Council and Norm Matesich was Mayor.
Further changes to the structure of local government and Hastings Shire Council were made on 1 July 1993 when the NSW Local Government Act took effect. This Act changed the responsibilities of the Mayor and Councillors and separated the functions more clearly from those of the General Manager. The new act made local government more responsible and accountable. At this time, Hastings Municipal Council became known as Hastings Council.
In 2005, Hastings Council became known as Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council under Administration
Following a public inquiry, on 27 February 2008 all civic offices of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council were declared vacant by the Minister for Local Government and Mr Dick Persson AM was appointed Administrator of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Mr Persson resigned in January 2009 and the post of Administrator was accepted by Mr Garry Payne AM, former Director General of the NSW Local Government Department. Mr Payne resigned in April 2010. Mr Neil Porter was appointed Administrator of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, up until the local government elections held in September 2012.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council now has eight Councillors and one Mayor. See Mayor and Councillors page.