Bega Valley Shire

The Bega Valley Shire is a local government area located adjacent to the south-eastern coastline of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire was formed in 1981 with the amalgamation of the Municipality of Bega, Imlay Shire and Mumbulla Shire.[4] The estimated population as at the 2016 census was 33,253.[1]

Bega Valley
New South Wales
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates36°40′S 149°50′E
 • Density5.2959/km2 (13.7163/sq mi)
Area6,279 km2 (2,424.3 sq mi)
MayorKristy McBain
Council seatBega[3]
RegionSouth Coast
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)Eden-Monaro
WebsiteBega Valley
LGAs around Bega Valley:
Snowy Monaro Eurobodalla Tasman Sea
Snowy Monaro Bega Valley Tasman Sea
East Gippsland (Vic) East Gippsland (Vic) Tasman Sea

The area extends from Bermagui in the north to the Victorian border in the south and includes the towns of Bega, Tathra, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Wolumla, Cobargo, Bemboka, Pambula, Pambula Beach and the former whaling port, tourism hotspot, and major port of Eden. Smaller localities include:

  • Angledale
  • Bald Hills
  • Barragga Bay
  • Berrambool
  • Black Range
  • Bournda
  • Boydtown
  • Broadwater
  • Brogo
  • Buckajo
  • Burragate
  • Candelo
  • Chinnock
  • Coolagolite
  • Coopers Gully
  • Cuttagee
  • Devils Hole
  • Dignams Creek
  • Doctor George Mountain
  • Edrom
  • Frogs Hollow
  • Greendale
  • Greigs Flat
  • Jellat Jellat
  • Kalaru
  • Kameruka
  • Kanoona
  • Kiah
  • Kingswood
  • Lochiel
  • Millingandi
  • Mirador
  • Mogareeka
  • Mogilla
  • Morans Crossing
  • Mount Darragh
  • Murrah
  • Myrtle Mountain
  • Narrabarba
  • Nelson
  • Nethercote
  • New Buildings
  • Nullica
  • Numbugga
  • Nungatta (part)
  • Nungatta South
  • Pericoe
  • Quaama
  • Reedy Swamp
  • Rocky Hall
  • South Pambula
  • South Wolumla
  • Stony Creek
  • Tanja
  • Tantawangalo
  • Tarraganda
  • Timbillica
  • Toothdale
  • Towamba
  • Verona
  • Wallagoot
  • Wandella
  • Wapengo
  • Wonboyn
  • Wyndham
  • Yellow Pinch
  • Yowrie

The Bega Valley Shire is also known as the Sapphire Coast for tourism and marketing purposes.

The Shire is the largest local government area in coastal New South Wales, with an area of 6,279 square kilometres (2,424 sq mi), and has the longest coastline of any local government area in the state. It is sparsely populated, largely because 75% of the area belongs to various national parks and state forests. Beyond national parks and state forests, the other predominant land use in the Bega Valley is agriculture, particularly dairy farming. Fishing, oyster harvesting, tourism and retail are also important industries.[5]

The Mayor of Bega Valley Shire Council is Kristy McBain, an unaligned politician.


Selected historical census data for Bega Valley Shire local government area
Census year2011[6]2016[1]
PopulationEstimated residents on census night31,950 33,253
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales56th 57th
% of New South Wales population0.46% 0.44%
% of Australian population0.15% 0.14%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
English32.5% 31.9%
Australian31.3% 30.9%
Irish9.3% 9.2%
Scottish8.4% 8.2%
German3.8% 3.7%
top responses
(other than English)
German0.6% 0.5%
Dutch0.3% 0.2%
Italian0.2% 0.2%
French0.2% 0.2%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No religion, so described26.7% 35.1%
Anglican27.3% 21.9%
Catholic20.0% 17.9%
Not statedn/r10.4%
Uniting Church4.6% 3.7%
Median weekly incomes
Personal incomeMedian weekly personal incomeA$454 A$538
% of Australian median income78.7% 81.3%
Family incomeMedian weekly family incomeA$1,014 A$1,242
% of Australian median income68.5% 71.6%
Household incomeMedian weekly household incomeA$848 A$986
% of Australian median income68.7% 68.6%


In August 1999 the Bega Valley Shire Council was sacked and an administrator was put in place until 2002 where a new council was elected.

Current composition and election method

Bega Valley Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. All 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 mayoral election was held on 10 September 2016, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[7]

  Independents and Unaligned 8
  The Greens 1
Total 9

The current Council, elected in 2016, in order of election, is:[7]

  Tony Allen Independent
  Robin Bain Independent
  Kristy McBain Unaligned Mayor[8]
  Jo Dodds Independent
  Sharon Tapscott Independent
  Russell Fitzpatrick Independent
  Liz Seckold Independent
  Mitchell Nadin Unaligned Deputy Mayor
  Cathy Griff Greens

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bega Valley (A)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  2. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019. Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2018.
  3. "Bega Valley Shire Council". New South Wales Division of Local Government. Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  4. "Holdings". Bega Valley Genealogy Society. Bega Valley Genealogy Society Inc. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  5. "About the Bega Valley Shire". About the Shire. Bega Valley Shire Council. n.d. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Bega Valley (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  7. "Bega Valley Shire Council: Summary of First Preference Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Elections 2016. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  8. Dion, Denise (29 September 2016). "Female team for mayor, deputy". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
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