The Local Authorities Act 1902 abolished divisional boards and created city, town and shire councils. Thus, existing divisional boards were constituted as shire councils. Under this Act, on 31 Mar 1903, the Hamilton Shire Council was created assuming the powers and functions of the defunct Hamilton Divisional Board.
Under the Local Authorities Act 1902, the primary function of Shire Councils was to provide such public services and amenities as roads, bridges, water, sanitation and drainage, public health services, parks and reserves, cemeteries, libraries and recreational facilities, street lighting, etc.
Council also had powers in relation to the construction of buildings, fire prevention, public nuisances, places of amusement, public carriers, slaughter houses, markets, animals and traffic. Increased powers were given to Council by subsequent local government legislation, for example, in the areas of public health, building regulation, town planning and the environment, public utilities and business undertakings.
The Council was also responsible for administering the Local Fund, and for valuing properties within the Shire for the purpose of determining and collecting rates, which together with endowments and loans formed its revenue base The general powers of Council were exercised through the passing of by-laws approved by Governor-in-Council.
The Shire was governed by a rate-payer elected council comprising a chairman and councillors. Special or general purpose committees were appointed reporting to Council. Council appointed its own officers to administer its business, headed by a Shire Clerk.
The Local Authorities Act 1902 consolidated local government and established two classes - Towns and Shires. In regulating local authority, the Act provided that the whole or parts of any shire may be constituted as a town. Accordingly, Hamilton Shire was constituted as Hamilton Town on 6 Apr 1904.
Home Secretary 31 Mar 1903 - 6 Apr 1904