District council of grant

District Council of Grant
South Australia
Location of the District Council of Grant
Population 8,652(2009)[1]
Established 1996
Area 1,904 km2 (735.1 sq mi)The District Council of Grant completely surrounds but does not include the City of Mount Gambier.
Mayor Richard Sage
Council seat City of Mount Gambier
Region Limestone Coast
State electorate(s) Mount Gambier
Federal Division(s) Barker
LGAs around District Council of Grant:
Wattle Range Council
District Council of Grant Glenelg (Vic)

The District Council of Grant is a local government area located in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, and is the southernmost council in the state.

The council was formed in 1996, after the amalgamation of the District Councils of Mount Gambier and Port MacDonnell, and currently surrounds the City of Mount Gambier local government area. The economy of the district is based around agriculture, forestry and fishing.


The District Council of Mount Gambier

Local government in Mount Gambier was established in 1863, when the District Council of Mount Gambier met for the first time, and Dr Edward Wehl was elected the inaugural Chairman. In December 1864 the District Council of Mount Gambier was divided into the District Council of Mount Gambier West (Town Council) and the District Council of Mount Gambier East. In May 1876 another division occurred resulting in the formation of the first Town Council with Mr John Watson as Mayor.[2]

The three local governments operated independently up until 1932 when the District Council of Mount Gambier West and District Council of Mount Gambier East were merged to once again be united under the banner of the District Council of Mount Gambier. The town council never merged back, instead becoming what is now the City of Mount Gambier.[2]

The District Council of Port MacDonnell

Land around Port MacDonnell was taken up by pastoralists as early as the 1840s. Settlement started in the 1850s.

By the end of the 1860s there were enough people in town and surrounding smaller settlements to warrant the proclamation of the District Council of Port MacDonnell.[3]

With Port MacDonnell being the second largest port in South Australia, the population held steady until the decision was made not to connect the port to the newly south east railway network. This resulted in loss of trade, and declining populations in the town.[3]

The two councils merged in 1996 to form the District Council of Grant.[4]


The economy of the district relies on a range of industries, including agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism.

Cereal crops and horticulture dominate many agricultural areas in the district, with beef, dairy and sheep production also prominent activities.

The fishing industry in Port MacDonnell is mostly reliant on the rock lobster industry, as well as certain scalefish, and is a significant factor in the economy of the area.

Forestry production and related secondary industries of logging, milling and paper production are major economic and employment generating activities.

Tourists are attracted to the district by natural features such as the coastline, the Canunda National Park and Lake Bonney as well as the European heritage making the area a popular and growing tourist destination.[4] A niche tourism activity is cave diving in the water-filled caves and sinkholes present in the council’s area as well of those of the City of Mount Gambier and the Wattle Range Council. This activity attracts cave divers from around the globe. Popular sites within the council's area include Ewens Ponds and Piccaninnie Ponds.[5][6]

During autumn, many visitors also arrive to take advantage of the run of Bluefin Tuna along the coast, with fish caught out over the edge of the continental shelf.


The seat of council is actually located in City of Mount Gambier, although that city is not included in the council area, making Port MacDonnell the largest town in the district. There many small towns and isolated areas encompassed in the region as well. These are:

Allendale East, Blackfellows Caves, Burrungule, Canunda, Cape Douglas, Caroline, Carpenter Rocks Caveton, Compton, Dismal Swamp, Donovans, Eight Mile Creek, German Creek, Glenburnie, Kongrong, Mil-Lel, Mingbool, Moorak, Mount Schank, Nene Valley, OB Flat, Pelican Point, Pleasant Park, Port MacDonnell, Racecourse Bay, Square Mile, Suttontown, Tarpeena, Wandilo, Wepar, Worrolong, Wye and Yahl.[7]

Elected Members

Mayor: Richard Sage[8]

CEO: Trevor Smart[9]


  • Collins, Brian
  • Bain, Bruce
  • Hill, Alan
  • Kuhl, Barry
  • Little, Shirley
  • Morgan, Jeanenne
  • Reis, Julie
  • Saunders, Greg
  • Slarks, Graham[10]

See also


External links

  • LGA page
  • Council page

Coordinates: 37°50′00″S 140°47′00″E / 37.8333333333°S 140.783333333°E / -37.8333333333; 140.783333333

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