ACT Advisory Council, 1930-1974

ACT Advisory Council Elected Members, 1930-1974



prepared and contributed by Chris Monnox, February 2012

ACT Advisory Council 1953


The Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council was established in 1930, in order to provide the residents of the ACT with representation on local matters, with the first Council being elected in May of that year. Initially consisting of three elected members, along with one member appointed by each of the Departments of Works and Railways, Home Affairs, Health and the Attorney-General’s Department, the Advisory Council replaced the Federal Capital Commission, which had been composed of one elected and two appointed Commissioners. 

Casual vacancies on the Council were filled by the Minister for the Interior. H C Green was appointed in 1933 without reference to the previous election result. Thereafter, vacancies were filled by the last candidate eliminated during the count of the preceding election, as with John Muir in 1938. Later, as tickets came into wide use, these were used as the basis for filling casual vacancies, thus 1960 saw Thomas Pye, third on the Independent ticket in 1959, replaced William Campbell, first on the ticket, and Herbert Blair, fourth on the Labor ticket, replace Heinz Arndt, who had been placed third.

In September 1952, the Minister for the Interior announced the expansion of the Council from three to five members. The two vacancies thus created were filled as though they were casual vacancies. The Advisory Council was expanded to six members in 1957.  Unlike in 1952, the change came into effect concurrently with the 1957 election, rendering the filling of vacancies by the Minister for the Interior unnecessary. The 1959 election saw the Council further expanded, to eight members, its peak size.

During the term of the Fifteenth Council, it was announced that Councils would serve for three instead of two year terms. This took effect from the term of the Sixteenth Council.

The Council met for the last time on 9 September 1974, when it was replaced by a Legislative Assembly, consisting of eighteen elected members, half from the seat of Canberra, and half from the Seat of Fraser.

Copies of Minutes 1959-1974 are held in the ACT Heritage Library, H 994.7 AUST.  The records of the ACT Advisory Council are held by the National Archives of Australia, Agency CA 491