History of Gladstone


Includes the town of Gladstone

The Hundred of Yangya, in the Mid North of South Australia, was one of nine Hundreds to be proclaimed in 1869. A number of pastoral leases expired in that year, and the land resumed by the Government for agricultural development. A notice in the Government Gazette of 4 February 1869 announced that Lease No. 38, owned by Herbert Bristow Hughes, was due to expire in six months, and that the Government intended to resume possession of 63 square miles (163 square kilometres) with the intention of forming a new Hundred. This became Yangya, and was gazetted on 15 July 1869. After these lands had been surveyed, farm blocks were put up for auction. The main sale of land in the Hundred of Booyoolie began on 13 November 1871. a further subdivision of land occurred in 1910 with the release of land in the Hundred of Yangya; and in 1919 the Government again purchased land, in the Manatoo area of the hundred of Yangya, for release to soldier settlers.

Until September 1939, settlement in the area officially consisted of two townships, one private (Gladstone), and the other Government (Booyoolie). Gladstone, in the Hundred of Yangya, was originally surveyed between 1872 and 1875, while Booyoolie was surveyed in January 1875 and proclaimed on 4 March in the same year. To all appearances the two towns were one, with a railway line running through the centre. The dual settlement was traditionally known as Gladstone. The proposal made in 1939 by the Surveyor-General that the name Booyoolie be abolished and the name Gladstone be submitted was endorsed by the Local Government authority, The District Council of Gladstone.

Local Government at Gladstone began in 1876 when twenty-one owners and occupiers of land in the Hundred of Yangya presented a memorial to the Governor of South Australia, asking that the area be constituted a District Council. On 10 August 1876, by proclamation, the Hundred of Yangya became known as the District Council of Yangya. The Government appointed Messrs Washington Moorhouse, Michael Slattery Owen, Thomas Joseph Ford, David Thomson, and John Leak to be the first Councillors. On 14 August 1879, after a further memorial from ratepayers, the District Council of Yangya became known as the District Council of Gladstone.

A year later, the ratepayers residing in the southern portion of the District Council of Booyoolie presented a memorial to the Governor asking that their area be added to the District Council of Gladstone, and this request was granted on 12 August 1880.

On 7 March 1883 the Corporation of the Town of Gladstone was proclaimed. The members of the first Corporation Council were Messrs Oliver Horner (Mayor), Joseph Shepherd, John Neil, Henry Warren, John Ireland Dixon, and William Esmund Goodliffe.

The Corporation and the District Council amalgamated in 15 May 1933 to become known as the District Council of Gladstone. The town Wards were named North, East and West; and the rural Wards were Rocky River, Manatoo, Yangya, and Yackamoorundie. Although there have been discussions with the Corporation of the Town of Laura and the District Council of Booyoolie (1931-32), Caltowie (1935), Georgetown and Laura (1977-78), and Laura and Jamestown (1983), the boundary of the District Council of Gladstone remains the same as that proclaimed on 12 August 1880.

In the last seven years there has been a move among Local Government authorities in this region to supply expertise and service to their electors.

The Northern Pest Plant Control Board, consisting of seven Councils, was the first such joint venture in 1978, and in 1984 the same seven Councils formed the Northern Vertebrate Pests Control Board. The Northern Building and Health Inspectorial Board, formed in 1982, serves ten Local Government authorities.

The Flinders Mobile Library Board was established in October 1983, initially with five Councils, and with a sixth joining one year later. Its forerunner was based in Port Pirie, from where it operated for twenty months from January 1982. the Gladstone Institute Library operated from 1877 to 1983.

The Gladstone CFS has been wholly supported in recent years by the Council.

Life in Gladstone would be the poorer were it not for voluntary organisations in the community, many of which have been operating over many years. The Gladstone branch of the RSL was formed soon after the first World War for the support and fellowship of its members. The Gladstone branch of the CWA (formed in 1946), the Gladstone and District Rural Youth Club (1952), The Gladstone and District Lions Club (1970), and the Gladstone Senior Citizens Club (1975) all make a valuable contribution, both socially and in the supply of facilities. The Gladstone Scout Group (formed before 1916) and the Gladstone Guide District (1927), together with their junior counterparts, the Cub and Brownies, offer training and fellowship for the young people in the community.

(Source: "South Australia, the civic record 1836 to 1986")

During 1988 discussions were held with the neighbouring Councils of Laura and Georgetown regarding amalgamation and agreement for amalgamation was reached on 4th May 1988 resulting in the formation of the District Rocky River. Further local government consolidation during 1996/7 saw the Rocky River Council amalgamate with the District Councils of Spalding and Jamestown to form the Northern Areas Council, which was effected on 3rd May 1997.

Further information about Gladstone is available at: http://www.gladstonesa.com.au

Relevant Links

Travel Mate Website - Sites to see in Gladstone

Accommodation Guide Website - Gladstone Tourism Sites