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A Brief History of Byron Shire.

3.  Byron Shire is  situated in far north-eastern New South Wales. lt comprises most of  the catchment area of the Brunswick River and part of the Richmond River.  lt adjoins  the Shires of Tweed (to the north) and Ballina  (south), and the City of Lismore (west). The Shire  is bounded  in the east by the South Pacific Ocean, in  the south  partly by Skinners Creek  and Wilsons River, in the southwest partly by Coopers Creek,  and in the  nofthwest partly by  the Nightcap Range (Figure 1). The area of the Shire is 567 square kilometres.

Figure 1: The boundaries of Byron Shire, main urban areas, and some olher olaces referred to in this report 


The Shire  was proclaimed, and  its initial boundary described in detail, in the NSW Government Gazette of 7 March 1906.  lt was a creation of the Local Government (Shires)  Act 1905, under which the  whole of  New South Wales,  exclusive of the Western Division, the City of Sydney, and existing municipalities was divided into shires.

Byron Shire had  an estimated  resident population oÍ 32 378 in June  2010, growing at approximately 1.5% per year. lts  major urban areas  are Byron Bay (with its satellites Suffolk Park and Ewingsdale); Brunswick Heads; Mullumbimby; Billinudgel/ New Brighton/  Ocean Shores; and Bangalow (Figure 1). Mullumbimby  was incorporated as  a separate municipality  in 1908 and for the next seven  decades was  administered independently of  Byron Shire. The  Council of the  Municipality of Mullumbimby was  dissolved in  October 1980, and its 1.7  square miles of tenitory  reunited with the surrounding Byron Shire.

It  is acknowledged that Byron Shire contains a  wealth of Aboriginal  cultural sites  which include middens, stone arrangements, rock  shelters, and  tool-making sites.  Additionally, many Aboriginal words have survived in  the names of places within the Shire (e.9. Mullumbimby and  Billinudgel). These all testify to the long  period of  occupation of this area by  Aboriginal people prior to the  arrival of the first explorers, surveyors and settlers of European origin.

Further discussion of  the history of  the Byron Shire is available  in 'Thematic History',  which was  written by Brett  J. Stubbs to support  the Byron Shire Community-based Heritage Study in November 20063.

'"The History of Byron" is an extract lrom Byron Shire, Thematic History Aprit 2006 (pp 1 - 3),by Brett J Stubbs, which forms part of the Byron Shire Heritage Study undertaken by Byron Shire Counci . The population figure is adjusted from Mr Stubbs' original text  based on the latest available ABS Regional Population Estimates by Local Govemment Area.