Walgett Shire

Walgett Shire Council

Walgett Council is a local government area in the Orana region of New South Wales, Australia, bordering Queensland on the north. Walgett, New South Wales is at the junction of the Barwon River and the Namoi River, and at the junction of the Kamilaroi Highway and the Castlereagh Highway. The Shire is divided between the agricultural areas (producing wool, cattle, wheat and cotton), which are near the Barwon and Namoi or southeast of the Barwon, and the outback country northwest of the Barwon, including the black opal mining and fossicking town of Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. Prior to 1957, when Lightning Ridge was established (or re-established) as a significant settlement, the outback country was part of the Western Division.

The Council is currently controlled by an Administrator, Vic Smith, appointed by the New South Wales Minister for Local Government. The previous Walgett Council was split between factions representing Lightning Ridge and the rest of the Shire and apparently became unworkable as a result. This, among other things, was investigated by a Public Enquiry in 2004 under the New South Wales Local Government Act 1993. Other matters investigated included poor administration, failure to properly inform councilors in relation to some matters, apparently illegal walkouts by some councilors to frustrate votes and, in particular, events surrounding a failed project to build a community centre in Lightning Ridge.


According to the Australian Bureau Statistics during 2003-04, there:

- were 1,726 wage and salary earners (ranked 123rd in New South Wales and 393rd in Australia, less than 0.1% of both New South Wales's 2,558,415 and Australia's 7,831,856)

- was a total income of $55,197,025 (around $55 million) (ranked 121st in New South Wales and 391st in Australia, less than 0.1% of both New South Wales's $107,179,688,262 (around $107 billion) and Australia's $304,034,755,876 (around $304 billion))

- was an estimated average income per wage and salary earner of $31,980 (ranked 112th in New South Wales and 376th in Australia, 77% of New South Wales's $41,407 and 82% of Australia's $38,820)

- was an estimated median income per wage and salary earner of $29,155 (ranked 119th in New South Wales and 406th in Australia, 82% of New South Wales's $35,479 and 85% of Australia's $34,149).

Main towns/villages

Walgett Shire includes Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri, Pokataroo, Rowena, Burren Junction, Cryon, Cumborah, Glengarry and Carinda.


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