Cairns City Council History

cairns city council building
cairns city council building
Spread the love
Champion of the Underdog » Cairns » Cairns City Council History

Cairns City Council

Cairns City Council was a municipality in Far North Queensland. It was established in 1885 and merged with the Mulgrave Shire Council in 1995.


Cairns City Council logo
Cairns City Council

The Council was actually founded as the Cairns Divisional Board. As a result of the passage of the Local Authorities Act of 1902, Cairns Municipal Council became Cairns Town Council on 31 March 1903. Cairns grew strongly. As a result, Cairns Town Council became Cairns City Council on 12 October 1923.

1995 Merger

Mulgrave Shire Council logo
Mulgrave Shire Council

In 1995 as a result of a forced merger process, Cairns was amalgamated with the larger Mulgrave Shire Council. While Mulgrave Shire Councillors won the majority of positions on the new council Hence, the former Mulgrave Shire Mayor Tom Pyne was successful at the amalgamation election, becoming the first Mayor of the newly merged Council.

Then the merged entity remained known as Cairns City Council (to the annoyance of some former Mulgrave Shire residents).

2008 Amalgamation

Another round of forced amalgamations came in 2008. The Council formed on the 1995 boundaries was amalgamated with the neighbouring Douglas Shire (to the north) in 2008. Consequently, at this amalgamation election, the city’s first female Mayor Val Schier was elected, along with 10 Councillors. The merger offered Douglas Shire the ‘economy of scale‘ it had lacked.

Cairns Regional Council

Unfortunately, the merger did not last the test of time, with the state government offering a de-amalgamation option to Douglas Shire residents in 2013. Douglas voted to leave Cairns Regional Council, and remains independent this day. While reverting back to the boundaries it had prior to 2008, the new body did not revert to the title Cairns City Council. It retained “Cairns Regional Council”. This is believed to more appropriately reflect the Cairns Regional Council area, which is comprised of city residents, as well as residents living in rural and semi-rural parts of the region.

Relevant Content


By Rob Pyne

Quadriplegic, Former MP, Councillor & Political Campaigner: Rob is an Eco Socialist who shares ways to survive & fight capitalism. #socialism #championoftheunderdog Occupation: Online Editor Employer: Champion of the Underdog! Book: Struggle and Resistance in the Far North

Leave a comment