Shire of Augusta-Margaret River

Organisation: Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
Phone: 08 9780 5255
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In May 1830 Governor Stirling led a party of settlers on board the "Emily Taylor" to the mouth of the a river and inlet reported by sealers. Exploring the river, Stirling named it the Blackwood, after Vice Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood under whom he had served. Stirling also decided to declare a townsite at the mouth of the river, naming it Augusta in honour of Princess Augusta Sophia, 2nd daughter of King George IV and Queen Charlotte (1768-1840).

The townsite of Margaret River is located on the Margaret River from which it derives its name. The Margaret River itself was named in 1831 by John Garrett Bussell on one of his early exploration forays. The name is first shown on a map of the region published in 1839.

Margaret River was declared a townsite in 1910 and gazetted on February 7th, 1913. In 1910 the Margaret River Progress Association wrote to the Minister for Lands requesting a townsite be declared at "the Upper Margaret Bridge". The reason given was that "the district is likely to be dotted with public buildings several miles apart in the near future if a townsite is not made available shortly". The District Surveyor who inspected the area preferred an area near the lower bridge on Caves Road, but this land was not available. Lots were surveyed in 1912, and the Townsite of Margaret River gazetted in 1913. In 1918 the name of the townsite was changed to "Margaret", but it was changed back to Margaret River in 1927, due to local usage of the name always being Margaret River.

The first local government in Australia was established in Adelaide in 1840. In 1891, the Augusta Road Board was gazetted, and was renamed Augusta-Margaret River Road Board in 1926. On 1 July 1961, the Augusta-Margaret River Board became the Shire Council following changes to the Local Government Act.

Although local government has been in existence for more than 160 years, it is not yet recognised in the Australian Constitution.

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