The Divisional Boards Act of 1879 provided for local government for any part of the Colony not included in a municipality and proclaimed a Division by the Governor. The first Divisional Boards were proclaimed on 11 Nov 1879. Cleveland Divisional Board was established by proclamation on 29 May 1885. The members of the Board were elected in July 1885. Under the Local Authorities Act 1902, all Divisional Boards became Shire Councils.
The primary function of Divisional Boards was to provide such public services and amenities as: parks and reserves, cemeteries, libraries and recreational facilities, water and sanitation services, roads, bridges, wharves, street lighting, public health services, licences and registrations for businesses, markets and animals, town planning, and the control of noxious weeds and other pests.
Boards were also responsible for administering the Local Fund and for valuing properties within the Division for the purpose of determining and collecting rates. Boards could pass by-laws regarding all matters within its jurisdiction. All such by-laws required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.
Divisional Boards submitted an annual Statement of Revenue and Expenditure to the Minister. By-laws created by Boards required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.