Local Government

Introduction

In the middle of the 19th century the Crown had the area surveyed and Altona, as we know it today, was divided across two parishes, namely Truganina and Cut Paw Paw (both derived from Aboriginal names).

On 14th October, 1852, the area was included in the district which became the Shire of Wyndham in 1863. The future Altona was included within the East Riding and had such men as Robert Cherry, J Beamish, Albert Leake, B Maher and W H Lohse sat at the Shire Council representing the interests of the future Altona district.

In the 1920’s the Altona Progress Association felt that the district should have more appropriate representation at the Council and not as a part of the larger East Riding. When the Werribee riding boundaries were formed the majority of the riding was a sheep run, however the Association now felt that Alton, like much of Werribee was developing into a thickly populated and progressive district. Additionally, Altona was at the extreme eastern end of the riding and shire and the current riding embraced nearly half of the entire shire. By 1927 this push for semi independence or being recognised as Riding in its own right and have its own representation was gathering momentum. In July of that year a conference was held between representatives of the East Riding and representatives of the Altona Progress Association to discuss a proposal to split the riding into two to form a new Riding covering Altona.

This was finally granted in May 1928 with the Altona Riding being bound by Melbourne Road and a direct line to the powder magazine and to then extend to the current eastern boundary of the Shire. This included an area covered by the current suburbs of Laverton, Altona, Seaholme, Newport and Spotswood.

In 1928 Altona Riding was formed, the first three representatives being Messrs. O’Brien, Grieve and Cherry. This propelled the Altona district on a journey for independence that enabled its residents and ratepayers to be represented, in their own right, at the Werribee Shire Council. The following pages expands on this journey and the people who made the effort and sacrifice to step into the role to represent residents and to oversee vast progression and improvements for our area.

Reference

A History of Altona by Allan J. Clark Hon Secretary and Members of the Altona Historical Society, First published 1974, second edition 1978

Additional research undertaken by Ann Cassar and Graeme Reilly (ALHS)