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. The Goolman Divisional Board was established on the same day. It became Goolman Shire Council on 31 Mar 1903.
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 (such as immunisations), 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.
The Division was governed by a rate-payer elected Board comprising a chairman and a number of members. Special or general purpose committees were appointed and the Board employed its own officers to administer its business, headed by a Clerk. Divisional Boards submitted an annual Statement of Revenue and Expenditure to the Minister.
The Goolman Divisional Board became Goolman Shire Council on 31 Mar 1903, following the proclamation of the "Local Authorities Act of 1902".