History of local government in the Macleay Valley

Kempsey Shire Council Civic Centre Garden

Local government came to the Macleay Valley in 1885 with the constitution of the Kempsey Borough Council by the Mayor, Alderman PC Hill, and the Town Clerk, Mr HP Macklin. The rest of the valley was introduced to municipal administration in 1907 with the formation of the Macleay Shire Council. The original President was Councillor CA Hill and the Chief Administrative Officer was Shire Clerk, Mr N Parker.

The Macleay River County Council was given powers relating to electricity supply and aviation in 1947. Councillor ER Mackay was elected first Chairman of the County Council and Mr JC Salter transferred from the Municipal Council as County Clerk. In 1954 the Council entered the field of flood mitigation. 

In 1975 the Kempsey Municipal Council and the Macleay Shire Council agreed to amalgamate their areas, which meant that the Macleay River County Council would also be abolished and its activities would be transferred to the newly formed Council.

As result, Kempsey Shire Council was incorporated from 1 October 1975. Councillor Steuart McIntyre served as Mayor for the first 18 years of the new Council. Mr Stan Hayes transferred from the County Council to be the first Shire Clerk.