The history of local government in the Toowong area 1880-1925
The story of Toowong’s municipal governance is part of a wider story which dates back to 1859 when Queensland separated from New South Wales as a colony in its own right in 1859.
The colony inherited New South Wales’s local government legislation, the Municipalities Act 1858, which allowed the creation of a municipality with its own elected council to manage local affairs, upon the petition of householders in the area.
Not many local areas took up the opportunity to establish local municipal bodies, and by 1878, only eighteen towns had incorporated in this way. Therefore, the Local Government Act 1878, based on Victorian legislation enacted four years earlier, was passed with the aim of allowing more diverse forms of local government. Each board had a number of councilors and a chairman who was appointed from amongst their number.
The Toowong Division was established on 11 November 1879 under the Divisional Boards Act 1879 with a population of 1789.
In May 1880, the more populated part of Toowong Division was proclaimed the Shire of Toowong, while the remaining part of the Toowong Division was renamed as the Indooroopilly Division.
In 1903, the Toowong Shire became the Town of Toowong. Over its period of tenure (1903-25) the Toowong Town Council continued to administer local governance to Toowong, Auchenflower, Milton and parts of Mt Coot-tha.
In 1925 the Town of Toowong was one of many local municipal authorities that amalgamated to form the Greater Brisbane Council. The City of Brisbane Act 1924 received assent from the Governor on 30 October 1924, thereupon, on 1 October 1925, 20 local government areas of various sizes were abolished and merged into the new city.
Today, Toowong, Auchenflower, Milton and Mt Coot-tha are described as suburbs of Brisbane.
Thanks to Melba Welch OAM for providing the research that this article is based.