An Act for establishing Municipal Institutions, 1858 (22 Victoria Act No.13) provided for the establishment of a municipality following the receipt of a petition of at least 50 householders resident within the proposed area. The petition was to be published in the NSW Government Gazette, and unless a counter petition was received from a larger number of householders the process of creation of the municipality could begin. (1)
In August 1859, eighty-one householders resident in the Town of Orange petitioned the Government to constitute their locality as a Municipality. (2) The residents claimed a Municipal Corporation would be more successful in carrying out improvements to the town, in particular improving the deplorable condition of the local roads. There was no counter petition and on 9 January 1860, the Municipality of Orange was proclaimed. (3) The Municipality’s boundaries were the Counties of Wellington and Bathurst, Parish of Orange, Town of Orange. (4)
On 10 January 1860, Mr John Peisley was elected the Returning Officer for the Municipality of Orange. (5) The meeting of electors was to occur on the 2 February 1860. The first Council election was held on 9 February 1860 and the elected Aldermen were: John Woodward, James Dale, George McKay, Denis Hanrahan, John Peisley, and WT Evans. (6) John Peisley was elected Chairman of the Council. The Council’s first meeting was held on 18 February 1860 and George Dolquhorn was appointed Town Clerk. (7)
The legality of the Constitution of the Orange Municipal Council was questioned in 1866 and in February of that year, the Council was suspended by a decision of the Supreme Court. After the passing of the Municipalities Act in 1867, the Council was reconstituted and the first election under the new order was held on 14 February 1868. (8)
On 6 November 1912, a proposal to unite the Municipalities of Orange and East Orange was published in the New South Wales Gazette (9) and on 24 December 1912 the two Municipalities were united and reconstituted as the Municipality of Orange. (10) The new Municipality covered an area of 1,315 acres across the Parish of Orange, County Wellington and the Parish of Orange, County Bathurst.
Additional powers were conferred on the Council when the reconstituted Municipality of Orange was proclaimed in 1912. (11) Under the Local Government Act 1906 as amended, when two or more municipalities were united, the Governor could appoint between twelve and eighteen Aldermen. Upon the Municipality’s reconstitution on 24 December 1912, the following fifteen Aldermen were appointed to Orange Council: William Edwin Agland, William Halliburton Gow, William Malachi Kelly, Henry James King, Henry William Larance, Henry Kinghorne McKay, Edwin Thomas McNeilly, Bennett Penhall, Roderick Sinclair Plowman, Rowland Plowman, James Thomas Rowe, Adolphus Frederic Stanford, Benjamin Aldridge Tillett, Douglas Vincent Walker, John Swann Withington. (12)
On 10 July 1946, the Municipality of Orange was proclaimed as the City of Orange. (13)
On 4 July 1947 preliminary notice was given of the transfer of an area of approximately 3,175 acres on the eastern boundary of the Municipality of Orange from the Shire of Canobolas to Orange. (14) This transfer formally occurred from 1 January 1949 when the altered description of the Shire was also proclaimed. The Canobolas Shire was required to provide the City of Orange with extracts from its electoral role, valuation books and lists relevant to the residents and properties in the transferred land. (15)
In 1971 the NSW Government appointed a special committee of inquiry into local government areas and administration. The final report which was completed late in 1973 recommended expansion of the cities of Orange, Bathurst and Lithgow, the amalgamation of the Shires of Boree and Molong and the re-grouping of other shires within the three cities. The recommendations of the special committee in relation to boundary changes were not accepted by the government that referred the matter to the Local Government Boundaries Commission.
The local government divisions in the Orange, Bathurst and Lithgow area were considered by the Commission as part of its broader task of examining boundaries outside the County of Cumberland to recommend changes that would facilitate economical and efficient local government for the foreseeable future. Following visits to the cities of Orange, Bathurst and Lithgow and surrounding areas in which the Commission held discussions with Councils, community organisations and citizens, 23 proposals for redistribution of local government areas were received.
The Boundaries Commission withdrew its own proposals and during 1976 conducted an inquiry into nine of the proposals submitted. (16) In relation to Orange and surrounding areas, the proposal to divide the City of Orange and the Shires of Boree, Canobolas, Lyndhurst and Molong into three areas to comprise a municipality and two shires was approved by the Commission. (17) Late in 1977 these recommendations were put into effect.
On 1 October 1977, the City of Orange was extended when parts of the surrounding shires of Cabonne, Blayney, and Lyndhurst were transferred to the City of Orange. (18)
On 1 January 1979, the boundaries of the City of Orange were altered when seven parcels of land on the City’s northern, northeastern, and western boundaries were transferred to the Shire of Cabonne. (19) The City of Orange now covered an area of 297.89 square kilometres. (20)
On 1 January 1984, the City’s boundaries were again altered when 3.13 hectares of land on the generally eastern boundary of the City of Orange was transferred to the Shire of Cabonne and 11.09 square kilometres on the generally eastern boundary of the City of Orange was transferred to the Shire of Blayney. (21) The City of Orange now consisted of 286.77 square kilometres.
In late 2004, the Orange City Council consisted of the following forteen Councillors: John Davis, Peter Hetherington, Jeremy Buckingham, Chris Gryllis, David Hackett, Jason Hamling, Reg Kidd, John Miller, Richard Niven, Fiona Rossiter, Pam Ryan, Margaret Stevenson, Glenn Taylor, Jeff Whitton. (22)
1. An Act for establishing Municipal Institutions 1858, s.2.
2. NSW Government Gazette No.167, 29 August 1859, p41; the Town of Orange had been proclaimed on 18 November 1846.
3. NSW Government Gazette No.6, 9 January 1860, p41-42.
4. NSW Government Gazette No.6, 9 January 1860, p42.
5. NSW Government Gazette No.7, 10 January 1860; NSW Government Gazette No.11, 13 January 1860.
6. Brief History of Orange, Orange Council’s website: http:/www.orange.nsw.gov.au (accessed 16/9/2004).
7. Brief History of Orange, Orange Council’s website: http:/www.orange.nsw.gov.au (accessed 16/9/2004).
8. Brief History of Orange, Orange Council’s website: http:/www.orange.nsw.gov.au (accessed 16/9/2004).
9. NSW Government No.158, 6 November 1912, pp.6626-6627.
10. NSW Government No.183, 24 December 1912, p.7513.
11. NSW Government No.183, 24 December 1912, p.7514.
12. NSW Government Gazette No.183, 24 December 1912, p.7518.
13. NSW Government Gazette No.78, 19 July 1946, p.1598.
14. NSW Government Gazette, 4 July 1947, p.1543.
15. NSW Government Gazette, 24 December 1948 p.3448-3449.
16. Report of the Local Government Boundaries Commission into proposals involving the cities of Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange; Shires of Abercrombie, Blaxland, Boree, Canobolas, Lyndhurst, Molong, Oberon and Turon, 19 August 1976, p.6 in NSW Parliamentary Papers 1976-77-78, Volume 8, p.878.
17. Report of the Local Government Boundaries Commission into proposals involving the cities of Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange; Shires of Abercrombie, Blaxland, Boree, Canobolas, Lyndhurst, Molong, Oberon and Turon, 19 August 1976, p.6 in NSW Parliamentary Papers 1976-77-78, Volume 8, p.77.
18. Brief History of Orange, Orange Council’s website: http:/www.orange.nsw.gov.au (accessed 16/9/2004).
19. NSW Government Gazette No.176, 22 December 1978, pp.5274-5278.
20. NSW Government Gazette No.176, 22 December 1978, p.5274.
21. NSW Government Gazette No.172, 16 December 1983, pp5722-5723.
22. Brief History of Orange, Orange Council’s website: http:/www.orange.nsw.gov.au (accessed 16/9/2004).