Ballarat, Ballarat East
Municipal District 1855-1863, Borough 1863-1870, City 1870-ct A petition was gazetted early in September 1855 from ‘two hundred and ninety-two householders, resident in the township of Ballaarat [sic]’ requesting that the township might be proclaimed a Municipal District by the name of ‘The Municipality of Ballaarat [sic]’.
The Municipal District of Ballarat was proclaimed on 18 December 1855. It commenced ‘at the north-east angle of allotment 1 of section A, Parish of Ballaarat [sic], thence by a line bearing east one mile twenty-two chains and eight links to a marked post; thence by a line bearing south to the River Yarrowee; thence by the River Yarrowee to the southern boundary of the Township of Ballaarat [sic]; thence by the said southern boundary and a line bearing west one mile and ten chains to a marked post; thence by a line bearing north one mile four chains and forty links to the western boundary of the Police Paddock; thence by the western and northern boundary lines of the said Police Paddock to the north-west angle of allotment 2 of section C, in the Parish of Ballaarat [sic] aforesaid; and thence by a line bearing east, being the south side of a Government road, to the commencing point aforesaid.’
A meeting was held on Monday 14 January 1856, at 12 o’clock noon at ‘the Saloon of the Golden Fleece, Lydiard Street,’ to elect members to the Municipal Council. The following members were elected to the position of councillors: Messers James Oddie, Robert Muir, Dr. James Stewart, Messers William Tulloch, A.B. Ranken, J.S.Carver, and Patrick Bolger. The bye-laws of the Municipal Council of Ballaarat[sic] were gazetted on Monday 30 June 1856. The first rates for Ballaarat[sic] were struck in 1856.
Municipal District 1857-1863, Borough 1863-1870, Town 1872-1921 One hundred and eighty three landholders and householders of Ballaarat East petitioned the government to proclaim Ballaarat East [sic] as a municipal district according to the Government Gazette on 21 January 1857. On the 28 April 1857 the Municipal District of Ballarat East [sic] was proclaimed.
The municipal district commenced at the north-eastern angle of the municipal district of Ballaarat; thence by a line bearing east, and by the River Yarrowee eastward two miles and forty chains; thence by a line bearing south two miles and forty chains; thence by a line bearing west three miles and ten chains, more or less, to the River Yarrowee aforesaid; and thence northwards by that river and by the eastern boundary of the municipal district of Ballaarat to the commencing point.
Wednesday November 29th
I arrived in Ballaarat at 10 this morning - after travelling the whole night.
The diggers are very much excited. I conversed with two persons - seemingly leaders of two different sections of the diggers and parties to the present movement. I used every persuasive argument to induce them to abandon the meeting they called for this evening but did not succeed. However they assured me that they would use all their influence to keep it within the bounds of peace and order. They complained of the overbearing conduct of the officials - of the frequent and offensive inquiries after their licences at all hours by the troopers. I think a little kindness and forbearance on the part of the officials and police would have gone far in conciliating them. It is however now too late. They appear to know their own strength and the weakness of the Government.
The inquiry into the insult offered to Fr. Smyth in the person of his servant and the illegal fine in which the latter was mulcted has terminated in a most unjust division approved by the Executive Council and communicated to the Clergyman in a most offensive manner.
This slight which the Government put upon the Clergyman and the unjust fine he was forced to pay for his servant together with the silent contempt with which was treated the address of the Catholics approved at a public meeting have forced them into the ranks of the disaffected. A large meeting is now being held. I hope in God it terminates peaceably. Many diggers went to it armed.
The hill above the alluvial flats, of the area known as ‘Magpie’, was referred to in 1855 by the miners as 'Sebastopol Hill'. The tent township of the ‘Hill’ was officially proclaimed Sebastopol Borough on 24 October 1864. The first council meeting was held on 4 January 1865. Thomas Dickinson, Mayor from 1868-71, was one of the first councillors elected and the first of a distinguished line of Mayors of the Borough who were also members of the Masonic Lodge at Sebastopol.
Buninyong Road District was created on 9 July 1858 and the Shire of Buninyong was proclaimed on 16 February 1864.
An incident on the Ballarat goldfields on 21 September 1851 illustrates the intention of the government forces and their preparedness to intervene in case of disorder. Commissioner Doveton and his assistant David Armstrong explained to the diggers the government’s decision to introduce licensing fees, which attracted an angry response from the miners. A public meeting was held immediately, and when the first men came forward to pay the fee, 13 they were struck and pelted by ‘the mob’ as Dana called them. Had it not been for the presence of the Native Police, Dana reported, those diggers would have been seriously injured (Fels 1988, p. 213)’. 
- Bishop Goold, diary
- Clark, Ian D., Another Side of Eureka - the Aboriginal presence on the Ballarat goldfields in 1854- Were Aboriginal people involved in the Eureka rebellion?, University of Ballarat, 2007.