Local Politics

In the middle of the 19th century the Crown had the area surveyed and Altona, as we know it today, was divided into two parishes, namely Truganina and Cut Paw Paw (Aboriginal names). On 14th October, 1852, the area was included in the district which became the Shire of Wyndham in 1863. The name of the Shire was changed to Werribee in 1909. The future Altona was in the East Riding and had such men as R. Cherry, Beamish and W. Leake who sat at Council in the 1870-80-90’s.

In 1928 Altona Riding was formed, the first three representatives being Messrs. O’Brien, Grieve and Cherry. Two of the later Councillors were Mr. J. Murphy and Mr. John Grant. After several unsuccessful attempts, the latest in 1952, Altona Riding severed from Werribee and was created a Shire
on 26/2/1957. The proclamation took place in Logan Reserve on 29th May, 1957. Cr. George Ransom was elected the first President of the Altona Shire of some 15.85 square miles at the first Council meeting held on 5th June, 1957, at the “Homestead”.

The “Homestead” continued to be used as the Civic Offices until the new offices in Civic Parade were opened on 7th Demember, 1963.

During the next few years annexations by the Shire of Werribee and Williamstown City reduced Altona’s area to 15.52 square miles.

After 1 1 years of growth as a Shire, during which an Elderly Citizens’ Centre, a Library and Branch, a number of Infant Welfare Centres and Kindergartens, a dental service, as well as many other services were established, Altona was declared a City on 21/12/1968. Cr. W. L. J. Crofts was installed as its first Mayor, and Mr. J. W. Waters, who had been Altona’s first Shire Secretary, became Altona’s first Town Clerk.


A History of Altona

by Allan J. Clark Hon Secretary and Members of the Altona Historical Society

First published 1974, second edition 1978