Agency Details

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Agency ID58
TitleCairns City Council
Agency TypeLocal government authority
Start Date 12/10/1923
End Date 15/3/2008
Date NotesN/A

Created under the Local Government/Authorities Acts to provide local administration and public services in urban areas.

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Series IDTitleFromTo
5010Council and Committees Agenda Books 21/3/1923 20/12/1994
4704Valuation and Rate Books/Cards - Water and General Rates 12/10/1923 30/6/1951
5165Committees Minute Books [Special Purposes] 12/10/1923 25/2/1959
4651Committee Minute Books 12/10/1923 21/6/1994
4634Minute Books 12/10/1923 3/11/1994
4020Miscellaneous Correspondence and Files 13/10/1923 31/12/1960
5196Committees Agenda Books 15/10/1923 22/11/1950
4734Rates Cash Books (Water and General Rates) 1/1/1926 29/12/1943
5911Staff Records 1/1/1930 28/2/1956
5946Valuation Maps 1/1/1947 31/12/1947
4635Index to Minutes 17/1/1950 25/9/1974
5883Valuation Rolls 1/1/1954 31/12/1965
6042General Ledger 1/7/1954 31/12/1966
5931Register of Contracts 24/7/1956 20/12/1966
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Controlling Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
123Home Secretary's Office 12/10/1923 5/12/1935
126Health and Home Affairs Department 5/12/1935 10/12/1941
231Local Government Department I 10/12/1941 7/12/1989
248Housing and Local Government Department 7/12/1989 24/9/1992
249Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning 24/9/1992 26/2/1996
10727Department of Local Government, Sport and Recreation 26/2/2004 15/3/2008
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Controlled Agencies

Details of controlled agencies do not exist or are unavailable.
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Previous Agencies

Subsequent Agencies

Agency IDTitle
11039Cairns Regional Council
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Related Agencies

Agency IDTitleRelationship
2089Cairns-Mulgrave Water Supply BoardJoint Local Authority
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Finding Aids

This agency has no finding aids.
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Publication Notes
This agency has no publication notes.
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Information Sources

Local Government (Cairns, Douglas, Mareeba & Mulgrave) Regulation 1994
Queensland Government Gazette 1923, Vol CXXI, No 122, p. 1108
Queensland Government Gazette 1995, Vol. CCCVIII, No. 67, p. 1381
Local Government and Planning Department Web-site 2002,
Harris, C.P., Local Government and Regionalism in Queensland 1859 to 1977, Canberra, Centre for Research on Federal Financial Relations, A.N.U., 1978
Local Government Reform Implementation Act 2007
Local Government (Areas) Regulation 2008, Schedule 1
Queensland Subordinate Legislation 2008, nos. 23-26
"What's happened to my Council", Report of the Local Government Reform Commission 2008, vol. 1, pp. 14 - 26
Local Government, Sport and Recreation Department, "Implementation Regulation", viewed 28 Feb 2008,
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Establishing N/A
Abolishing N/A
Administered Local Authorities Acts 1902
Local Government Act 1936
Local Government Act 1993
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On 12 October 1923, the Town of Cairns was constituted a City, by the name of "City of Cairns", and the Cairns Town Council became the Cairns City Council. On 22 Mar 1995 a new Cairns City was created comprising Cairns City and the area of the abolished Mulgrave Shire, and parts of Douglas and Mareeba Shires.

The functions and powers of City Councils under the consolidated and amended "Local Authoritiies Act of 1902" included construction and maintenance of roads and streets, bridges, wharves and jetties and other public works, control of traffic, use of land and buildings for the provision of public services and amenities including fire stations, parks, libraries and other recreational, educational and civic facilities, pounds, cemeteries, dams, reservoirs and water supply infrastructure, gas and electricity works, street lighting, rubbish dumps, sewerage farms and disposal works. The "Local Authorities Acts Amendment Act 1923" provided increased powers to Councils in respect to roads, buildings and subdivisions which resulted in greater control of urban planning.

Councils were empowered to create by-laws with respect to all matters within their jurisdiction, but all such by-laws required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.
City Councils were also responsible for administering the Loan Fund and for carrying out valuations on properties for the purpose of collecting rates. Under the "Valuation of Land Act 1944" the Valuer-General became the sole valuation authority. In the 1970s City Councils ceased to distribute electricity. Other functions undertaken by Councils with other government instrumentalities have also ceased to be Council responsibilities including hospitals, fire brigades, ports and harbours, abattoirs and slaughterhouses.

In the 2000s City Councils through local laws promote economic development; own and manage public infrastructure including roads and public works, sewerage, and water storage and distribution; regulate activities which affect the environment including air, noise and water quality, land use and waste disposal, pests and noxious weeds, and building control; provide community services including recreational and cultural facilities and public health services.
Councils generate revenue from rates, grants and subsidies from state and federal governments, service charges, and loans for major projects.

Under the "Local Authorities Act of 1902" City Councils consisted of elected aldermen with the Chairman elected by the aldermen to be the Mayor. The chief administrator was the Town Clerk and Councils were given the authority to appoint other officers necessary to carry out their duties. Under the "Local Authorities Amendment Act 1920" adult franchise replaced rate-payer eligibility to vote. Under the "Local Government Act 1993" City Councils consist of a mayor and at least 5 councillors. In 2002 there were 12 divisional Councillors in the Cairns City Council. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions of the Council.

On 15 March 2008, Cairns City amalgamated with the Douglas Shire to form the Cairns Region.
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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Agency ID58, Cairns City Council
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
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