City of Adelaide

Wayback Machine Adelaide city centre Adelaide

Coordinates: 34°56′S 138°36′E / 34.933°S 138.600°E / -34.933; 138.600

City of Adelaide
South Australia
ACC - NYE low res-69.jpg
 • Density1,417.0/km2 (3,670.1/sq mi)
Area15.57 km2 (6.0 sq mi)
MayorSandy Verschoor
Council seatAdelaide city centre
RegionMetropolitan Adelaide
State electorate(s)Electoral district of Adelaide
Federal Division(s)Division of Adelaide
City of Adelaide Logo.png
WebsiteCity of Adelaide
LGAs around City of Adelaide:
Charles Sturt Prospect Walkerville
West Torrens City of Adelaide Norwood Payneham St Peters
West Torrens Unley Burnside

The City of Adelaide, also known as the Corporation of the City of Adelaide and Adelaide City Council is a local government area in the metropolitan area of greater Adelaide, South Australia and is legally defined as the capital city of South Australia by the City of Adelaide Act 1998. It includes the Adelaide city centre, North Adelaide, and the Adelaide Park Lands, which surround North Adelaide and the city centre.

Established in 1840, the City of Adelaide Municipal Corporation was the first municipal authority in Australia. At its time of establishment, Adelaide's (and Australia's) first mayor, James Hurtle Fisher, was elected. From 1919 onwards, the municipality has had a Lord Mayor, as of 2019 being Sandy Verschoor, who replaced Martin Haese in 2018.


Initially the new Province of South Australia was managed by Colonisation Commissioners. Colonial government commenced on 28 December 1836. The first municipality was established in 1840 as The City of Adelaide Municipal Corporation, the first municipality in the country. However, due to a combination of constitutional difficulties arising from the mayor's resignation, hostility of the incoming Governor George Grey, and falling revenues due to the onset of the colony's first economic crisis, the corporation became moribund in 1843, after the Province had become a Crown colony established by the South Australia Act 1842. From 1843 to 1849, control and management reverted to the colonial government, and from 1849 to 1852 the municipality was managed by a Commission with five members. With the positive economic effects of the Victorian gold rush, a formal municipality was re-established in 1852, and "has operated continuously ever since".[3][4][5][6] However, The city's relationship with the state and federal government has been described as being 'a continually abrasive relationship'.[7]

The Council started in 1840 with nineteen members, who chose four of their number to be Aldermen, and then one of these (James Hurtle Fisher) to be Mayor. In 1852 the municipality was divided into four wards. Three Councillors and one Alderman were chosen, who in turn selected the Mayor. In 1861 the Mayor was chosen by all the electors and the position of Alderman was temporarily abolished. In 1873 the municipality was divided into six Wards, each represented by two Councillors. In 1880 the office of Alderman was recreated; they were chosen by electors of all Wards. The office of Mayor was raised to the stature of Lord Mayor by Royal Letters Patent in 1919. The Lord Mayor received the right to be styled ‘The Right Honourable’ in 1927.[4][6]

The Arms of the City of Adelaide were granted by the Heralds College in 1929.[3] In 1982 the Council approved the design of the Armorial Flag.[3]

In 2015, the Council became the first government of any kind in Australia to offer a financial incentive for installing battery systems.[8]


The City of Adelaide is legally defined as the capital city of South Australia by the City of Adelaide Act 1998, which also provides for a Capital City Committee, setting out its structure, function and responsibilities. The Act defines the Constitution of the council, including the role, allowances and benefits of the Lord Mayor and members. It defines the role of the CEO and their role with regard to Council employees. It continues the name of the council as "The Corporation of the City of Adelaide", and says that the land known as "The Corporation Acre" within the City of Adelaide is vested in the Adelaide City Council. It says that the name "Adelaide City Council" means the Corporation of the City of Adelaide.[9][10][11]

As of 2019 the City of Adelaide Council consists of 12 elected members, including the Lord Mayor and 11 Area and Ward Councillors, elected for a 4-year term.[12]

Around the time of the November 2018 Council elections, reports emerged of the formation of a "Team Adelaide" faction,[13] later leading to friction between elected members.[14]


At the end of the 20th century, the city had little more than thirty per cent of the population it had in 1915 (when the population reached more than 43,000), and about 5,000 less than the 1855 population of 18,259.[6] In proposing reforms and his advocacy for town planning legislation, Charles Reade illustrated the Adelaide slums associated with the city's high population levels with lantern-slides accompanying his lecture "Garden cities v. Adelaide slums and suburbs" in the Adelaide Town Hall on 8 Oct 1914.[15] Reade was attacked by the Adelaide City Council who fought against the Town Planning and Housing Bill reforms[16] and the press pointed out the wickedness of families being forced to 'herd together more and more in overcrowded conditions of living' and the 'sheer nonsense on the part of the City Council to pretend' that there were no slums in the city:[17]

The City Council does not want to learn. It seems to want the slum owners to be left untouched so that the landlords may reap their harvest of gold while the poor of this city reap their harvest of suffering, disease, and other ills associated with bad housing.[18]

In seeking a return to higher density population levels, Adelaide City Council launched its 'New Directions' with its three themes of Capacity, Vivacity and Audacity on 3 July 2001.[19] The "Capacity" theme proposed doubling the city's population by 2010 and increasing the number of City visitors and workers.

According to the Annual Reports,[20] the population has increased rapidly, due to the targets stated in the strategic plans developed at about that time.

City of Adelaide Population 1840-2010.png

Coat of arms

The following table sets out the figures of various types of city population in the 21st century:[20][22]

Year 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02 2000-01 2006 goal 2010 goal 2012 goal
23,396 23,169 22,690 22,200 21,600 22,000 21,800 21,200 19,800 19,700 18,400 15,000 14,361 13,734 13,289 16,000
Dwellings 11,546 10,860 11,467 10,860 10,860 13,100 12,500 11,388 10,600 9,900 9,900 9,600 7,335 7,335 5,510
28,000 29,800 29,200 27,400 27,100 23,800 22,000 21,090 19,610 17,861 17,861 19,900 34,500
6,000 8,000 8,000 7,600 7,400 5,400 7,000 6,729 5,866
311,414 262,000 228,673 228,670 228,670 86,500 79,000 74,000 60,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 103,500 103,500 125,000 150,000
Workers 115,250 122,700 122,700 118,200 118,200 118,000 126,500 126,500 118,500 108,000 108,000 99,000 95,682 93,000 93,000 89,000 98,000 111,000 125,000
Students 67,100 64,000 64,000 86,700 90,000 88,000 86,700 81,100 75,000 63,000 59,240 51,900 50,597 50,000 58,000 66,000
220,000 205,000 208,200 190,000 200,000 200,000 216,000 215,000
1.503 1.443 1.200 1.184 1.038 1.100 1.109

 * Visitors to the city from the Adelaide Metropolitan area, for all purposes
 ** Square kilometres (millions of square metres) of office space. i.e. 1.503 km2 = 1,503,000 sq. metres.

Adelaide Park Lands

The city's 2010-11 Annual Report noted that the total area of the City of Adelaide is 15.6 km2, of which 7.6 km2 is Park Lands.[23] Other sources put the Park Lands area closer to 7.0 km2.[24] The original area was 2,300 acres (9.3 km2),[25] a number the Council still regularly quotes.[26]

Services and amenities

The City of Adelaide's administrative offices are located in the Colonel William Light Centre building at 25 Pirie Street, adjacent to the Adelaide Town Hall in King William Street.

Apart from providing the usual services like rubbish collection and controlling local development, the City of Adelaide owns and operates a number of city services and amenities, including:

Sister cities

The City of Adelaide has been involved in the Sister Cities program since 1972 and has international partnership arrangements with: [31]


The armorial flag of Adelaide was approved on 2 August 1982, replacing the unofficial coat of arms on white background, which had been flown outside the Town Hall on special occasions for about 50 years.[32]

Key to the City

The Key to the city is presented by the Lord Mayor to an individual or group to acknowledge and recognise their outstanding contribution to the city of Adelaide.[33]

Year Name/Group
1991 Governor Michael Dukakis
1991 Captain Anthony Sturt
1992 David Hookes
1992 His All Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
1992 The Salvation Army
1993 John Fitzgerald OAM
1994 Reverend Ivor Bailey AM
1995 His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis
1996 Mark Woodforde
1996 1996 S.A. Sheffield Shield Cricket Team
1996 Adelaide Girls Choir
1996 Dr Andrew Thomas AO
1996 His All Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos 1
1996 Dame Roma Mitchell AC DBE CVO QC
1997 HMAS Adelaide
1997 Maritime Patrol Group RAAF Edinburgh
1997 Adelaide Football Club
1998 Adelaide Lightning Women's Basketball Team
1998 Adelaide 36ers Men's Basketball Team
1998 Band of the South Australia Police
1998 Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Team
1999 Stuart O’Grady OAM
2001 Lleyton Hewitt AM
2001 Dr Jeffery Tate
2003 Mark Ricciuto
2003 Barry Humphries AO CBE
2004 John Coetzee
2004 Port Adelaide Football Club
2004 Rupert Murdoch AC KCSG
2006 Dr Bill Griggs AM
2008 Adelaide United Soccer Team
2010 Cheong Yew Liew OAM
2017 Adelaide Football Club Women's Team
2017 Gillian Rolton AM
2018 Mike Turtur AO

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Adelaide (C)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 November 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019. Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "History". Adelaide Council. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b Lord Mayors & Mayors Archived 2 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, City of Adelaide
  5. ^ Books mentioned on the City of Adelaide history webpages: Those Turbulent Years. A History of the City of Adelaide 1929–1979, Pubs, pews and powerbrokers, The City of Adelaide - A Thematic History Archived 19 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c A Thematic History, pp81-82.
  7. ^ Morton, After Light p. 10
    The city's relationship with the state and federal government has been described as being 'a continually abrasive relationship'. Until 1877 the relationship with the colonial government was described as 'a grudging tolerance, breaking out occasionally into active resentment whenever the council felt its rights were being infringed'. Moreover, matters such as alienation of the Park Lands by the state government, and threats to do so by the federal government, together with the fact that the federal and state government were exempt from rates for the many city buildings they owned, did nothing to enhance the relationship between them and the city corporation.
  8. ^ Sophie Vorrath (23 June 2015). "Adelaide City Council offers energy storage incentive, Australia's first". Renew Economy. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  9. ^ "City of Adelaide Act 1998". Government of South Australia. Attorney-General's Dept. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  10. ^ "City of Adelaide Act 1998, Version 31/3/2016" (PDF). 31 March 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "City of Adelaide Act 1998". Austlit. South Australian Current Acts. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  12. ^ Your current Council City of Adelaide, 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  13. ^ 'Another side of the story': Abiad breaks silence on Team Adelaide InDaily, 15 April 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  14. ^ City councillor tensions boil over in corridor confrontation InDaily, 29 May 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  15. ^ Where are the Slums? Mr. Reade on Garden Cities. The Journal, 9 October 1914, p 1.
  16. ^ Leonie Sandercock. 'Adelaide: Property, Privilege and Power' in Property, Politics, and Urban Planning: A History of Australian City Planning 1890-1990. p 81.
  17. ^ City Council, Slums, and Town Planning.Daily Herald, 11 September 1916, p 4B.
  18. ^ City Council, Slums, and Town Planning.Daily Herald, 11 September 1916, p 4C.
  19. ^ Annual Report 2001/2002 Archived 30 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Adelaide City Council, p 2.
  20. ^ a b c Annual Reports, City of Adelaide
  21. ^ A Thematic History, pp149-150.
  22. ^ 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13 2010-11 Archived 30 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02 Archived 30 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine 2000-01 1999-00 1998-99 1997-98
  23. ^ Annual Report 2010-11 Archived 30 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, City of Adelaide, p. 1.
  24. ^ Fiction and Facts about the Adelaide Park Lands, Adelaide Parklands Preservation Association.
  25. ^ "The Park Lands". The Herald. 6 September 1902. p. 7 – via Trove.
  26. ^ Our Parks,
  27. ^ "UPark". City of Adelaide. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Adelaide Aquatic Centre". City of Adelaide. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  29. ^ "All-Electric, Solar-Powered, Free Bus!!!". 27 December 2007. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  30. ^ "New free City connector bus service". Adelaide City Council. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  31. ^ Sister Cities - Adelaide, South Australia, c.2014, Adelaide City Council, Retrieved 7 May 2018
  32. ^ City of Adelaide Arms and Flag
  33. ^ "Key to the City". Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  34. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1915: William Bragg, Lawrence Bragg". Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  35. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2005: Barry J. Marshall, J. Robin Warren". Retrieved 12 September 2011.