Council History

A community unlike any other

Explore inspiring articles, discover events, connect with locals and learn more about Coffs Harbour City Council.

DA

Online DAs only from January 1

The NSW Government has mandated that all Development Applications lodged with us must be through the NSW Online Planning Portal from 1 January 2021 ...

Read more
Swim Between The Flags

Swim Between The Flags

Stay safe at the beach this summer by swimming between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches...

Read more
Disaster Dashboard

Local Emergencies Disaster Dashboard

Council has a Disaster Dashboard to help you prepare for, cope and recover from any local emergency...

Read more
View all news

Latest News

Sam Dyball musician

Live music in City Square extended through March

The Live and Local music series will continue throughout March with musicians scheduled every Wednesday at 10.30am in City Square...

Read more
Cultural and Civic Space interior design

Construction to Begin on Cultural and Civic Space

Building work on the Cultural and Civic Space is scheduled to start in April following approval of the tender for the construction phase of the project...

Read more
New Cultural and Civic Space

Take a Fly Through Coffs Harbour’s New Cultural and Civic Space

This fly-through video explores the design of Coffs Harbour’s new Cultural and Civic Space project, focusing on the different levels inside of the building...

Read more
Visit Coffs Newsroom

Council History

​​Local government began in our region in 1906 when the Dorrigo Shire was established. Thomas O’Neill was the first Shire President, Mr WJ Hawthorne was Shire Clerk, and the Council office was in Mr Hawthorne’s rooms in South Grafton.

At that time, the shire extended from Dorrigo in the west to Coffs Harbour in the east and northward to the Clarence River. The population of the town of Coffs Harbour totalled only 600 people, living in 132 houses.

With Dorrigo Shire covering an enormous area, the decision was made in 1913 to divide it in two. The North Western section became Nymboida Shire, while Dorrigo Shire now encompassed Dorrigo, Coramba, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga and Glenreagh. The headquarters were established at Coramba.

As the town of Coffs Harbour grew, there was increased lobbying for it to be made a municipality in its own right - with the addition of Sawtell from Bellingen Shire. By 1951 the Dorrigo Shire Council headquarters had moved to Coffs, on the site today known as 218 Harbour Drive.​

The new shire of "Coffs Harbour" was gazetted on 30 November 1956 and took in the area from just north of Repton up to Pipe Clay Beach and west to Brooklana. The first Coffs Harbour Shire President was Councillor Harry Bailey.

Purpose-built Council Chambers, staff offices and library were completed alongside a Civic Centre (Town Hall) in Vernon Street in February 1964. Keeping pace with the growth of the town, a new Council administrative building was constructed on the corner of Castle and Coff Streets in 1985. This remains Council’s main headquarters.

In May 1987, the humble Shire of Coffs Harbour was finally proclaimed a City, with Councillor Bernie Malouf as its first Mayor.

The most recent change to the Local Government Area was in 2004, when the communities of Corindi and Red Rock were welcomed into the City of Coffs Harbour after a northern boundary adjustment.