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Fremantle Town Council

Under the provisions of the Municipalities Act of 1871, a Town Council was set up in that year, with a chairman and three councillors from each of three wards. The Chairman was W.S. Pearse and the Councillors as follows; West Ward: George Pearse, G.A. Davies and Herbert Dixon; North Ward: W.E. Marmion, John Chester and D.B. Francisco; South Ward: William Jose, W. Hayes and Lucius A. Manning; Treasurer: W.D. Moore; Auditors: H.M. Lefroy and Joseph Doonan.

On March 10, 1871, the newly-constituted body held its first meeting: at John Thomas' Albert Hotel (since rebuilt and renamed the Commercial Hotel). At that meeting it was resolved, on the motion of W. E. Marmion seconded by W. Hayes, that George Thompson be appointed clerk and collector at the remuneration of 6 per cent. on all moneys collected exclusive of fines. A letter from John Henderson was read applying for the position of Inspector of Nuisances and Supervisor of Works. After some discussion it was proposed by G. Pearse and seconded by H. Dixon, that the person to be appointed be paid £50 per annum for his services. As an amendment, L. A. Manning proposed and W. Hayes seconded that the sum of £40 be paid to the person appointed to the office of Supervisor, Inspector of Nuisances and Inspector of Weights and Measures, and the amendment was carried. It was decided to call for applications by advertisement for the position. Other business dealt with included instructions to the chairman to procure a common seal for the council to be engraved with a swan and ”Fremantle Municipality” around it. Also it was decided that consideration be given to the preparation of by-laws under the ordinance constituting the municipality at a future meeting, and that minutes of all meetings be furnished to the newspapers for the information of ratepayers. A resolution was carried that levels of the town be taken either by employing a competent person or by asking the Government to do it. The municipal estimates showed an anticipated revenue of £600, which was allotted to improving the streets and extending the sea wall to Fitzgerald Terrace [Marine Terrace]. Up to that time the rates levied upon property owners were merely nominal, as convict labour was available and was provided free for street and road making, but that concession was greatly curtailed by Governor Weld in the early part of 1873.
For a time the council meetings were held at Thomas' Hotel, then a small office was secured at the corner of High Street and Adelaide Street, on the site now [1929] occupied by Robin's tobacconist shop, and later the venue was changed to the Oddfellows' Hall [William St]. Hitchcock: 89.



John K. Ewers, 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948] Appendix 6: 214.

References and Links

Battye, JS 1924, Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948].

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 October, 2015 | Now: 3 October, 2020