Tweed Shire

This article is about the Australian local government area. For the Australian regional town, see Tweed Heads, New South Wales. For rivers named Tweed, see Tweed River.
Tweed Shire
New South Wales

Location within New South Wales
Coordinates 28°20′S 153°23′E / 28.333°S 153.383°E / -28.333; 153.383Coordinates: 28°20′S 153°23′E / 28.333°S 153.383°E / -28.333; 153.383
Population 92,460 (2015 Est.)[1]
 • Density 69.992/km2 (181.28/sq mi)
Established 1906
Area 1,321 km2 (510.0 sq mi)
Mayor Katie Milne
Council seat Murwillumbah
Region Northern Rivers
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Richmond
Website Tweed Shire
LGAs around Tweed Shire:
Scenic Rim (Qld) Gold Coast (Qld) Tasman Sea
Kyogle Tweed Shire Tasman Sea
Lismore Byron Tasman Sea
Pacific Motorway and Tweed Valley viewed from Duranbah

Tweed Shire is a local government area located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. The shire is located adjacent to the border with Queensland where it meets the Tasman Sea coast. The shire, administered from the town of Murwillumbah, covers an area of 1,321.0 square kilometres (510.0 sq mi), and has existed as a local government entity since 1947. It was named for the Tweed River. It is also the location of the jungle used in the U.K. TV series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

The current Mayor of Tweed Shire Council is Cr. Katie Milne [2] of The Greens.


The European history of the Tweed Shire began in 1823 when the Tweed River was discovered by John Oxley. After sheltering on Cook Island, (4 km from the River's mouth), Oxely travelled 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) up river. In 1828, Captain H. J. Rous explored 50 kilometres (31 mi) up the river. Settlers began to arrive in 1828, the first of which were the cedar getters, who came to harvest Great Red Cedars and send them back to England.[3] During the height of the cedar logging industry, the Tweed Valley was one of the wealthiest districts in Australia.

The Municipality of Murwillumbah was created on 25 May 1902, and held its first meeting on 22 August 1902, at which Peter Street was elected its first Mayor. The Shire of Tweed, with its primary centre of population at Tumbulgum on the Tweed River, came into being in the surrounding area on 7 March 1906 with the enactment of the Local Government Act 1906 (NSW). On 1 January 1947, the two amalgamated to form Tweed Shire.[4]

Towns and localities

Tweed Heads
Tweed Coast
Other localities


At the 2011 census, there were 85,105 people in the Tweed local government area, of these 48.2 per cent were male and 51.8 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.5 per cent of the population, which was significantly higher than the national and state averages of 2.5 per cent. The median age of people in the Tweed Shire area was 45 years, which was significantly higher than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 17.8 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 22.9 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 47.5 per cent were married and 15.3 per cent were either divorced or separated.[5]

Population growth in the Tweed Shire area between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 7.45 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, population growth was 7.29 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78 per cent and 8.32 per cent respectively, population growth in the Tweed local government area was marginally higher than the national average.[6][7] The median weekly income for residents within the Tweed Shire area was significantly lower than the national average.[5]

At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Tweed local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 80 per cent of all residents (national average was 65.2 per cent). In excess of 59 per cent of all residents in the Tweed Shire nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was slightly higher than the national average of 50.2 per cent. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Tweed local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (5.5 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a significantly higher proportion (91.6 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent).[5]

Selected historical census data for the Tweed Shire local government area
Census year 2001[6]2006[7]2011[5]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 73,821 79,321 85,105
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 26
% of New South Wales population 1.23%
% of Australian population 0.39% Increase 0.40% Steady 0.40%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
English 31.9%
Australian 30.0%
Irish 9.8%
Scottish 8.0%
German 3.2%
top responses
(other than English)
German0.4% Steady 0.4% Steady 0.4%
Italian0.3% Steady 0.3% Steady 0.3%
Frenchn/c Increase 0.2% Steady 0.2%
Japanesen/c Increase 0.2% Steady 0.2%
Spanishn/c n/c Increase 0.2%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic24.9% Decrease 24.7% Steady 24.7%
Anglican29.0% Decrease 26.1% Decrease 24.2%
No Religion13.8% Increase 17.6% Increase 21.6%
Presbyterian and Reformed5.9% Decrease 5.1% Decrease 4.9%
Uniting Church6.0% Decrease 5.2% Decrease 4.5%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$364 A$442
% of Australian median income 78.1% Decrease 76.6%
Family income Median weekly family income A$904 A$1,045
% of Australian median income 77.2% Decrease 70.6%
Household income Median weekly household income A$683 A$845
% of Australian median income 66.5% Decrease 68.5%


Year Population References
1911 9,514
1921 15,136
1933 17,099
1947 19,321
1954 21,144
1961 22,491
1966 23,154
1976 27,526
1981 40,050
1986 45,690
1991 55,857
1996 66,519
2001 74,577 [6]
2006 83,089 [7]
2011 85,105 [5]


In May 2005, the Governor of New South Wales dismissed the Tweed Shire Council following a public inquiry that found the Council was improperly influenced by developers involved in a property boom in the area. The inquiry was commissioned by the Minister for Local Government, Tony Kelly, following community concern about the way planning decisions were made. The Minister appointed the Director-general of the Department of Local Government, Garry Payne, former Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull and former Tweed Shire councillor, Max Boyd as Administrators for the ensuing three years.[8]

Current composition and election method

Tweed Shire Council is composed of seven Councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. The Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 29 October 2016, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[9]

  Independents 4
  Australian Greens 1
  Country Labor 1
  Liberal 1
Total 7

The current Council, elected in 2016, in order of election, is:[9]

  Katie Milne Greens
  Warren Polglase Independent
  Pryce Allsop Independent
  James Owen Liberal
  Reece Byrnes Country Labor
  Chris Cherry Independent
  Ron Cooper Independent

Shire Presidents and Mayors

CouncillorTerm of officeTitle
C E Cox 1947–1948 Provisional President
A Buckley 1948–1949 President
C E Cox 1949–1957 President
Harold Lundberg 1957–1958 President
Clarrie Hall 1958–1959 President
Harold Lundberg 1959–1961 President
Clarrie Hall 1961–1963 President
Harold Lundberg 1963–1964 President
Clarrie Hall 1964–1973 President
Charles Jarvis 1973–1975 President
Clarrie Hall 1975–1979
died in office
Max Boyd 1979–1981 President
Mrs Y A M Rowse 1981–1984 President
Max Boyd 1984–1999 President
Lynne Beck 1999–2001 President
Warren Polglase 2001–2005 President
vacant 2005–2008 Administrators
Joan van Lieshout 2008–2009 Mayor
Warren Polglase 2009–2010 Mayor
Kevin Skinner 2010–2011 Mayor
Barry Longland 2011–2014 Mayor
Gary Bagnall 2014–2015 Mayor
Katie Milne 2015– Mayor


  1. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  2. Tweed Link, Issue 926 22 September 2015, page 1
  3. Collier's Encyclopedia. New York: Maxwell Macmillan Communication Group.
  4. Murwillumbah Historical Society Inc. (8 October 2009). "The Shire of Tweed". Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Tweed Shire". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Tweed (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : Tweed (A) (Local Government Area)". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  8. "Council sacked after property corruption probe". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Tweed Shire Council: Summary of First Preference and Group Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Election 2016. New South Wales Electoral Commission. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
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