Walgett Shire

Walgett Shire is a local government area in the Orana region of New South Wales, Australia. The northern boundary of the Shire is located adjacent to the border between New South Wales and Queensland. The town of Walgett is located at the junction of the Barwon River and the Namoi River, and at the junction of the Kamilaroi Highway and the Castlereagh Highway.

Walgett Shire
New South Wales
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates30°01′S 148°07′E
 • Density0.273415/km2 (0.70814/sq mi)
Established7 March 1906 (1906-03-07)
Area22,336 km2 (8,624.0 sq mi)
MayorManuel Martinez (Unaligned)
Council seatWalgett
State electorate(s)Barwon
Federal Division(s)Parkes
WebsiteWalgett Shire
LGAs around Walgett Shire:
Balonne (Qld) Balonne (Qld) Balonne (Qld)
Brewarrina Walgett Shire Moree Plains
Warren Coonamble Narrabri

The Shire is divided between the agricultural areas (producing wool, cattle, wheat and cotton), which are near the Barwon and Namoi rivers or southeast of the Barwon River, and the outback country northwest of the Barwon River, including the black opal mining and fossicking town of Lightning Ridge. Prior to 1957, when Lightning Ridge was established as a significant settlement, the outback country was part of the Western Division.

The Mayor of Walgett Shire Council is Cr. Manuel Martinez, who is unaligned with any political party.[3]

Towns and villages

Walgett Shire includes Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri, Pilliga, Pokataroo, Rowena, Burren Junction, Cryon, Cumborah, Glengarry and Carinda. Come By Chance was established in 1840, before all of the above towns and villages.

Heritage listings

Walgett Shire has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics during 2003-04 there:[5]

  • were 1,726 wage and salary earners (ranked 123rd in New South Wales and 393rd in Australia, less than 0.1% of both New South Wales's 2,558,415 and Australia's 7,831,856)
  • was a total income of $55 million (ranked 121st in New South Wales and 391st in Australia, less than 0.1% of both New South Wales's $107 billion and Australia's $304 billion)
  • was an estimated average income per wage and salary earner of $31,980 (ranked 112th in New South Wales and 376th in Australia, 77% of New South Wales's $41,407 and 82% of Australia's $38,820)
  • was an estimated median income per wage and salary earner of $29,155 (ranked 119th in New South Wales and 406th in Australia, 82% of New South Wales's $35,479 and 85% of Australia's $34,149).
Selected historical census data for Walgett Shire local government area
Census year2011[6]2016[1]
PopulationEstimated residents on census night6,454 6,107
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales106th 107th
% of New South Wales population
% of Australian population
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
top responses
(other than English)
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No religion
Eastern Orthodox
Median weekly incomes
Personal incomeMedian weekly personal incomeA$
% of Australian median income
Family incomeMedian weekly family income
% of Australian median income
Household incomeMedian weekly household income
% of Australian median income


Between 2004 and 2008, the Council was controlled by an Administrator, Vic Smith,[7] appointed by the New South Wales Minister for Local Government. The previous Walgett Shire Council was split between factions representing Lightning Ridge and the rest of the Shire and apparently became unworkable as a result. In 2004, a public inquiry investigated the dispute, among other things, under the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW). Other matters investigated included poor administration, failure to properly inform Councillors in relation to some matters, apparently illegal walkouts by some Councilors to frustrate votes and, in particular, events surrounding a failed project to build a community centre in Lightning Ridge.[8]

Current composition and election method

Walgett Shire Council is composed of nine Councillors elected proportionally as a single 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 election was held on 10 September 2016, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[9]

  Unaligned 9
Total 9

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

Ian Woodcock   Unaligned Deputy Mayor[10]
Jane Keir   Unaligned
Laurence Walford   Unaligned
Bill Murray   Independent
Michael Taylor   Unaligned
Manuel Martinez   Unaligned Mayor[10]
Robbie Turnbull   Unaligned
Tanya Cameron   Unaligned
Kelly Smith   Unaligned


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Walgett (A)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019. Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2018.
  3. "Profiles" (PDF). Walgett shire Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  4. "Collarenebri Aboriginal Cemetery". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01934. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  5. "Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia (catalogue no.: 5673.055.003)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2007.
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Walgett (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  7. "Local Government Directory". Division of Local Government. June 2004. Archived from the original on 13 December 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  8. Bulford, Robert (June 2004). Walgett Shire Council Public Enquiry (PDF). Division of Local Government. p. 89. ISBN 1-920766-10-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  9. "Walgett Shire Council: Summary of First Preference Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Elections 2016. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 19 September 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  10. Media, Australian Community Media - Fairfax (28 September 2016). "New mayor for Walgett". Daily Liberal. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.

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