From new Road District to Shire……… then no longer an entity

By proclamation in the Government Gazette on 3/1/1854 the new road district of Barrabool was Barrabool Shire mapcreated to begin business on 24 December, 1853. It was the second road district of the colony to be created, the Belfast District Road Board being the first. This action was as a result of the Road Act being amended in 1853 and a new body “The Central Roads Board” created.

The following year there was consideration and an invitation given to amalgamating with the Connewarre Road Board and the Borough of South Barwon, to form one large shire, but agreement couldn’t be reached.

The Annual Meeting of the Barrabool Roads Board held on 13th March, 1863 with 400 people in attendance was very “noisy” meeting. Elections were held, a new committee established. The following week Dr. Minter was elected chairman of this authority. New boundaries were established in June 1863.

In 1865 the Barrabool Road Board divided the area into three Ridings, shortly after they were invited and went ahead alone to became a Shire on 13th June 1865. The first elections for the new Shire councillors were held in 1866. The Pioneer Councillors on the new Shire included Messrs. Hopkins (President), Piper, Dwyer, Smale, Moran, Riches, Gundry, MacKenzie and Dr. Heath.

Despite objections from South Barwon Shire in 1890 with the urging of the Torquay Improvement Association part of Torquay was annexed into the Shire from Barrabool Shire with the new boundary being the Torquay Road.

By 1903 consideration was again given to South Barwon Shire and Barrabool Shire amalgamating. This conversation occurred again in 1911.

1921 men from Barrabool and South Barwon Shires. c. Geelong Heritage Centre
1921 men from Barrabool and South Barwon Shires.                 c. Geelong Heritage Centre

Following the 1890 boundary change there were two other changes in the Shire boundary – when a portion of Winchelsea Shire was annexed to Barrabool in May 1927 then again in February 1958. The reasoning was to make all the Coastal area into one Riding which led to all three Councillors of the Coast Riding coming from Anglesea.

There were two other unsuccessful attempts to change the Shire boundary. In 1961 rate payers in the Parish of Gherang Gherang sought to be transferred from the Shire of Winchelsea to the Shire of Barrabool. The request was denied by the Local Government Advisory Board.

In 1963 both Barrabool and Winchelsea Council agreed on a proposal that a small section of Barrabool territory at North Lorne be transferred to Winchelsea Shire. After some surprise objection and subsequent developments, the Local Government Advisory Board did not approve the transfer.

There was also a presentation on March 30, 1965, of a petition to the Governor-in-Council seeking that the greater part of the Connewarre Riding of the Shire of South Barwon be cut off from that Municipality and placed in the Shire of Barrabool. The area included Torquay (South Barwon Section) and Breamlea. The petition sought a poll of ratepayers as to which council should govern the area. On 21 September 1965 the government refused this request.

On 18 May 1993, parts of the shire were annexed to the newly created City of Greater Geelong under the premiership of Jeff Kennett. On 9 March 1994, the Shire of Barrabool was abolished, and, along with the remainder of the City of South Barwon and parts of the Shire of Winchelsea, was merged into the newly created Surf Coast Shire.