Warringah Shire was established on 7 March 1906 under the Local Government (Shires) Act 1905 (Act No.33, 1905).(1) The Act introduced the Shire as an independent rural unit of local government.(2)
Section 7 of the Local Government (Shires) Act provided for the appointment of a provisional council. These temporary councils of five members were to prepare for council elections, including the preparation of lists and rolls of electors.(3) Members of the Warringah Shire Temporary Council were nominated by the local progress associations and met on nine occasions between 14 June and 22 November 1906 at the Narrabeen Progress Association Hall.(4) The election of councillors for Warringah Shire was held in November 1906 at Brookvale.(5)
The first meeting of the Warringah Shire Council was held on Monday 3 December 1906 at the Narrabeen Progress Association Hall. Shortly after this, meetings moved temporarily to the rented Empire Hall in Brookvale.(6)
The original Shire headquarters were located in Brookvale and in July 1912, new Council Chambers were opened opposite the Park later known as Brookvale Park. These Chambers served as the Council’s headquarters until the Civic Centre at Dee Why was officially opened on 1 September 1973 by the Shire President, Councillor Dick Legg.(7)
Warringah Shire was bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Municipality of Manly, Middle Harbour, the Parish of Manly Cove, the Municipality of Willoughby, the Parish of Gordon, Cowan Creek, and the Hawkesbury River.(8)
In May 1906, Warringah Shire was divided into three Ridings: A, B, and C. The boundaries of the Ridings were altered in January 1914.(9)
In June 1917, an area of Warringah Shire located in the County of Cumberland, Parish of Manly Cove was removed from Warringah’s jurisdiction and added to Manly Municipality.(10) In August 1933, part of Warringah Shire was transferred to Manly Municipality and in November of the same year, part of the Shire was transferred to Ku-ring-gai Municipality.(11) Other sections of Warringah Shire were transferred to Manly Municipality in August 1949 and July 1955.(12) In 1993, the northern part of Warringah seceded to form the separate Council of Pittwater.(13)
The Local Government Act of 1919 provided for the establishment of District Counties and County Councils by whole, groups of, or parts of municipalities and shires to perform nominated functions delegated by the Councils concerned. The formation of a County Council for the control and development of electricity by amalgamating the Manly Municipal Council and the Warringah Shire trading undertakings was proposed in 1938 and again in 1943 but was not followed through because of wartime exigencies. By 1951, the two councils agreed on the establishment of a County Council for providing electricity. On 1 September 1951, the Mackellar County Council commenced and consisted of three representatives from Warringah Shire and three from Manly Municipality.(14)
The role of Mackellar County Council included the construction extension, protection, maintenance, control and management of works for the supply of electricity; the supply of electricity; the supply and installation of electrical fittings and appliances; to grant permission for other parties to supply electric current to the public; and to lay and erect pipes, wires, poles and other apparatus under or over a public place. Mackellar County Council continued until 1980 when it amalgamated with the Sydney County Council.(15)
In 2002, Warringah Shire was divided into: A Ward – included the Oxford Falls, Cromer, Collaroy, and Narrabeen areas; B Ward – included the Harbord, Manly Vale, Seaforth, Freshwater, and Curl Curl areas; C Ward – geographically the largest area and included Terry Hills, Frenchs Forest, Davidson, Duffy’s Forest, and Belrose.(16)
In 2002, Warringah Council maintained the following committees:
Governance Committee – considered matters relating to the Governance and Corporate Units of the Council’s Public Office Group
Strategy Committee – considered matters relating to Policy, Planning and Commissioning Unit, and Strategic Land Use Planning Unit, and deals with matters relating to Council policies and strategic direction
Services Committee – considered matters relating to three Units from the Council’s Service Group (Community and Cultural, Environmental Management, and Construction and Maintenance)
Local Approval Committee – considered matters relating to the Local Approvals Service Unit including applications for rezoning, development, building and subdivision of land.(17)
Warringah Council consisted of the following Service Units in 2002: Governance; Corporate; Local Approvals; Policy, Planning and Commissioning; Startegic Land Use and Planning; Community & Cultural; Environmental Management; Construction & Maintenance.(18)
1. NSW Government Gazette No.121, 7 March 1906, p1637; Lambley, DB, A Key to the Historical Geography of Local Government Areas in New South Wales, Geographical Society of NSW and the NSW Department of Local Government, Sydney, 1989, p50.
2. A short description of the History of Warringah, located on Warringah Council’s website at www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/lstudies.htm, accessed on 30/10/2003.
3. Local Government (Shires) Act 1905 (Act No.33, 1905), section 7.
4. A short description of the History of Warringah, located on Warringah Council’s website at www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/lstudies.htm, accessed on 30/10/2003.
5. NSW Government Gazette No.235, 3 October 1906, p5590.
6. A short description of the History of Warringah, located on Warringah Council’s website at www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/lstudies.htm, accessed on 30/10/2003.
7. loc. cit.
8. For a full description of Warringah’s boundaries see NSW Government Gazette No.121, 7 March 1906, p1637.
9. NSW Government Gazette No.121, 7 March 1906, p1637; NSW Government Gazette No.4, 7 January 1914, p42.
10. NSW Government Gazette No.87, 15 June 1917, p3016.
11. NSW Government Gazette No.119, 4 August 1933, pp2883-2885; NSW Government Gazette No.191, 17 November 1933, pp4044-4048.
12. NSW Government Gazette No.159, 19 August 1949, p2452; NSW Government Gazette No.64, 1 July 1955, p1792.
13. A short description of the History of Warringah, located on Warringah Council’s website at www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/lstudies.htm, accessed on 30/10/2003.
14. See Agency No.3488.
15. Report of the Energy Authority of New South Wales for the year ending 30 June, 1980, p29.
16. Warringah Council Annual Report 2001-2002, p8.
17. ibid., p10.
18. loc. cit.