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Port Macquarie-Hastings Council facts for kids

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Port Macquarie-Hastings
New South Wales
Hastings LGA NSW.png
Location in New South Wales
 • Density 21.3068/km2 (55.184/sq mi)
  • 1 January 1981
    (Municipality of Hastings)
  • 13 July 2005
    (Port Macquarie-Hastings Council)
Area 3,686.1 km2 (1,423.2 sq mi)
Mayor Peta Pinson
Council seat Port Macquarie
Region Mid North Coast
State electorate(s)
  • Port Macquarie
  • Oxley
Federal Division(s)
Port Macquarie-Hastings logo.png
Website Port Macquarie-Hastings
LGAs around Port Macquarie-Hastings:
Walcha Kempsey Tasman Sea
Walcha Port Macquarie-Hastings Tasman Sea
Mid-Coast Mid-Coast Tasman Sea

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is a local government area in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

The area is located adjacent to the Hastings River, the Pacific Highway, the Oxley Highway and the North Coast railway line. Major population centres in the local government area are Port Macquarie, Camden Haven, Wauchope, Lake Cathie and Kendall.

The mayor of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council since 4 August 2017 is Cr. Peta Pinson, an independent politician.

Towns and localities

Towns and localities in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council are:


At the 2011 Census, there were 72,696 people in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area, of these 48.1% were male and 51.9% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.3% of the population, slightly higher than the national average. The median age of people in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council area was 47 years; some ten years higher than the national median. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 17.8% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 24.7% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 52.4% were married and 14.7% were either divorced or separated.

Population growth in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council area between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 6.68%; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census was 6.23%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area was generally on par with the national average. The median weekly income for residents within the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council area was slightly below the national average.

At the 2011 Census, the proportion of residents in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Celtic exceeded 83% of all residents (national average was 65.2%). In excess of 64% of all residents in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council area nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 Census, which was higher than the national average of 50.2%. Meanwhile, as at the Census date, compared to the national average, households in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (3.6%) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4%); and a significantly higher proportion (93.7%) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8%).

Selected historical census data for Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area
Census year 2001 2006 2011 2016
Population Estimated residents on census night 64,146 68,430 72,696 78,539
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales &&&&&&&&&&&&&029.&&&&&029th Increase &&&&&&&&&&&&&028.&&&&&028th
% of New South Wales population 1.05% Steady 1.05%
% of Australian population 0.34% Steady 0.34% Steady 0.34% Steady 0.34%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
English 33.4% Decrease 32.9%
Australian 32.8% Decrease 31.6%
Irish 9.5% Increase 9.6%
Scottish 7.7% Increase 7.9%
German 2.8% Increase 2.9%
top responses
(other than English)
German 0.3% Steady 0.3% Steady 0.3% Decrease 0.2%
Spanish n/c n/c Increase 0.1% Increase 0.2%
French 0.1% Steady 0.1% Steady 0.1% Increase 0.2%
Mandarin n/c Steady n/c Steady n/c Increase 0.2%
Italian 0.2% Steady 0.2% Steady 0.2% Steady 0.2%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No religion 11.5% Increase 14.5% Increase 18.1% Increase 25.6%
Anglican 33.1% Decrease 31.3% Decrease 29.4% Decrease 24.6%
Catholic 24.2% Steady 24.2% Increase 24.7% Decrease 23.1%
Not stated n/c Steady n/c Steady n/c Increase 8.8%
Uniting Church 8.4% Decrease 7.2% Decrease 6.0% Decrease 4.8%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$361 A$447 A$540
% of Australian median income 77.5% 77.5% 81.6%
Family income Median weekly family income A$679 A$1,008 A$1,300
% of Australian median income 66.1% 68.1% 75.0%
Household income Median weekly household income A$891 A$837 A$1,042
% of Australian median income 76.1% 67.8% 72.5%


Local government in the Hastings region started with the passage of the District Councils Act 1842, which allowed for limited local government in the form of a warden and between 3 and 12 councillors to be appointed by the Governor. Between July and September 1843, 28 such entities had been proclaimed by Governor George Gipps. The Macquarie District Council, the 8th to be declared, was proclaimed on 12 August 1843, with a population of 2,409 and an area of 10,174 square kilometres (3,928 sq mi). Due to various factors, the District Councils were ineffective, and most had ceased to operate by the end of the decade.

After the enactment of the Municipalities Act of 1858, which gave the councils more authority and which allowed for residents to petition for incorporation of areas and also to elect councillors, the town of Port Macquarie, population 984, petitioned to be incorporated as a municipality twice: in 1859 and again in 1867; but on both occasions, counter-petitions from other residents prevented it from being incorporated. Finally, on 15 March 1887, the Port Macquarie Municipal District was proclaimed, with the first elections on 25 May 1887 electing James McInherney as the first mayor.

The enabled the Shire of Hastings, based in the town of Wauchope, to come into being in June 1906, in time for elections in November 1906. The first Shire President was James O'Neill.

In 1981, the two councils were amalgamated to form the Municipality of Hastings, with Norm Matesich becoming the council's inaugural mayor. In 1991, the council moved into its present premises in Burrawan Street, Port Macquarie. With the enactment of the , which changed the responsibilities of the Mayor and Councillors, the Hastings Council was created. In 2005, the name was changed to Port Macquarie-Hastings following a community survey, showing that many people thought that the new name would better reflect the area.

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