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Our Story


The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is the peak body for local government in Queensland. We are a not-for-profit association setup solely to serve the state's 77 councils and their individual needs.

We have been advising, supporting and representing local councils since 1896, aiding them to improve their operations and strengthen relationships with their communities.

We do this by:

  • connecting them to people and places that count
  • supporting their drive to innovate and improve service delivery through smart services and sustainable solutions
  • and delivering them the means to achieve community, professional and political excellence

LGAQ is 100% council-owned, offering a range of support services and solutions to all levels of council employees.

While membership is voluntary, all Queensland councils are members. The Association is funded by subscriptions, revenue from business initiatives and government grants. Subscriptions account for one third of the Association's revenue.

We are administered by a Policy Executive, a group of mayors and councillors who are elected by their peers to represent all regions of Queensland. The Policy Executive has 16 members - 15 district representatives and a President - who meet six times each year.

LGAQ also has a Board which is appointed by the Policy Executive and consists of three Directors and the President. Download or view the Association's ConstitutionAnnual Reports and Financial Statements.

The Association's activities are driven by three corporate objectives:

  • Establish a leadership reputation
  • Grow the scope and depth of our relationship with members
  • LGAQ financial sustainability

We ensure these objectives are achieved by developing and following our Strategic Plan on a four yearly basis.

To acknowledge and pay respect to the First Australians, the LGAQ has adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan.

Corporate Governance Documents

Our history - in brief

Established in 1896, the LGAQ is one of Queensland's oldest organisations and continues its proud tradition of protecting the rights and interests of Queensland's local councils as envisioned by its founders.

The driving force behind the creation of the Association was Brisbane's Mayor, Robert Woods Thurlow, who went on to serve as the Association's very first President from 1896 to 1898.


Robert Woods Thurlow (1855-1913), Alderman and Mayor of Brisbane City Council was elected as Local Authorities Association's first president in 1896 and served in that role until 1898. Thurlow was a prominent businessman running RW Thurlow and Co, best known for its imported fine foods and Crescent Vinegar. Thurlow's Building, on the corner of Adelaide and Wharf streets went on to become the home of 4BC before its demolition in 1952. Photo courtesy of Brisbane City Council

In fact, the first nine Presidents were all Brisbane Mayors. It wasn't until the election in 1910 of Bundaberg Mayor, FM Marshall, that the Presidency of LGAQ went to a regional Mayor. A new milestone was reached in 2012, with Brisbane councillor, Margaret de Wit becoming the Association's first female president.

When it began, the Association had twenty-two members, one paid position – Secretary – and offered just one service to its members – legal opinions. Today, all 77 current Queensland councils are members, LGAQ has a staff of 60 plus highly skilled and experienced officers and offers a myriad of services ranging from legislation commentary to executive recruitment to policy advice and development, as well as continuing to provide legal opinions.

Our history - in pictures

There is much history locked away in the resources held in the LGAQ library and our librarian - Lesley Dimmock - has embarked on a project to make the information more accessible.

LGAQ history in pictures - an ever-developing collection of past (and present) Presidents, notable Executive Committee members, artefacts and buildings that illustrate 122 years of the LGAQ.


Research for this project has unearthed many colourful and eminent people who made valuable contributions to the Association. Most people are aware of the Association's longest-serving President, Harold Garfield ‘Paddy' Behan, who held the position for 21 of the 29 years he was a member of the Executive Committee.

Less well-known is the fact that William Hubbard Kidd, Chairman of Widgee Shire Council, holds the distinction of being the longest-serving Executive Committee member – from 1930-1964.

Then there was ‘the father of local government in Queensland,' Sir Charles Campbell. Having been a councillor of Jondaryan Shire Council since its inception in 1879 and Chairman from 1896 to 1919, Campbell also served on the Executive Committee from 1909 to 1917.

The past threads its way into the present as it was discovered that early Executive Committee member, Alfred Tully Stephenson (1912-16, 1918-19, 1921, 1923-38) was the great-uncle of present Ipswich councillor, Paul Tully.

Many Executive Committee members also served as Members of Parliament, either concurrently, or subsequent to their local government careers, and thus had significant influence over the course of Queensland's political history. Their histories continue to be collected, and include such personages as Arthur Edward Moore, Walter Henry Barnes, WBJG Sparkes and Russell Hinze, to name a few.

There is much that can be learned about the Association, and its work over the past 118 years; the issues that have shaped and influenced the development of local government, and the Association; and the people that have contributed so much to the local government sphere that can be revealed through the materials and resources held in the Association's Library. It is hoped that this project will throw some light onto that history.


Last updated 13 March 2018