Back in Time is a weekly column about the exciting history of the Katherine region. Got a story to share or an old photograph? Email email@example.com.
Katherine Town Council along with the NT Government celebrated its 35th birthday on July 1, 2013.
Prior to the establishment of the Council the business of the town was managed by a Progress Association and was the first of the three major Territory centers outside of Darwin to have a Town Management Board established on the 19 December 1960.
Members included representatives from the Progress Association, Works Department, Primary Production, Area School Committee Representative, Sport and Recreation.
The first Council elections were hotly contested with five standing for Mayor and 21 standing for the Alderman positions.
The first Council was officially declared on the 13th May 1978 with the inaugural Mayor Pat Davies presiding over six alderman, Dick Field, Patrick Murphy, John Pfitzner, Ted Hagger, Derek Sweetman and Doug Collins.
The Council officially commenced business on July 1, 1978, introducing a rating system and taking control of kerbing and roads, rubbish, parks and animal control.
With a lot of work to be undertaken and inexperienced elected members seeking their say on most issues Council meetings often to extended well past midnight.
Early meetings of the Corporation of the Municipality of Katherine were held in a demountable building, an ex- Department of Primary Production premises, which formerly housed their veterinarian and stock inspectors, situated beside the Post Office and the Welfare Office (now Centacare) on the corner of First and Giles Street.
For its operations, the Council used the old District Works Depot on Giles Street.
It reverted to the Government upon completion of the new Council depot.
The current Municipal Council building was opened on March 12, 1982.
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