The Local Government Act, 1919 provided for the establishment of County Districts to consist of whole, groups of, or parts of municipalities and shires. County Councils could be established to perform nominated functions delegated by the Councils concerned. Once the County Council was proclaimed it could exercise the full power of the Council in regard to the delegated functions.
In October 1920 the Councils of Rockdale, Kogarah, Hurstville and Bexley made application to the Governor for a constitution of a county district of St George requesting that the powers conferred on them by sections 416-419 of the Local Government Act, 1919 (relating to the supply of electricity and the supply and installation of electrical fittings and appliances) be delegated to the County Council. The Councils also requested that the County Council should have the power to borrow up to £100,000 and to levy a loan rate in connection with the loan. (1)
The St George County District was proclaimed on 29 October 1920 (2) with the delegated powers as requested by the constituent councils. The County Council originally consisted of three representatives of each Council. The Town Clerk of the Kogarah Municipal Council was the acting County Clerk. (3) It appears that the Council began operations on 4 December 1920. (4) Following the absorption of Bexley Municipality by Rockdale Municipality on 1 January 1949, the Bexley and Rockdale wards each returned 3 councillors to the County Council. (5)
From 9 March 1923 until 31 December, 1952 electricity was supplied by the Commissioners for Railways to the Council’s receiving station. From January 1953 the electricity was received from the Electricity Commission of New South Wales, although the conditions of supply were in accordance with the Railway Commissioners contract until its expiry on 30 April 1955. (6)
The restructuring of electricity distribution areas in New South Wales to reduce the number of electricity councils was implemented on 1 January 1980. This resulted in the St George, Brisbane Water and Mackellar County Councils amalgamating with the Sydney County Council. (7)
(1) Department of Local Government Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1921, p.29, In NSW Parliamentary Papers, 1921. Volume 3, p. 37.
(2) NSW Government Gazette, 29 October 1920, p.6301.
(3) Department of Local Government Annual Report. op. cit.
(4) CGS 9614 [7/1343B] ‘At your service with Electricity’ St. George County Council Review of the Council’s Activities for the year 1957, p.2.
(5) Loc. Cit.
(6) Loc. Cit.
(7) Energy Authority of New South Wales Report of the for the year ending 30 June 1980, p.29.