City of Palmerston

Aerial shot of Palmerston 1986

In 1980, the Northern Territory Government established the Palmerston Development Authority to finance, plan, develop and manage a new town 19 kilometres from the Darwin capital.

This was done in a time when Darwin’s population was growing at the dramatic rate of about 6% per year, causing stress on land availability in Darwin and on services. The idea was to create a new town development at Palmerston using the latest planning techniques, building superior services and facilities from the start, and turning off land at a price affordable to most people wanting to build a house.

Construction CampLong term planning envisaged a future population of 50,000 for Palmerston, living in eight suburbs. Development of further towns around Darwin Harbour would then proceed to cater for future population growth.

Initial capital works centered on roads, electricity and water supplies, earthworks and residential lot development. First construction jobs completed were the water tower, Highway House and the Chan Park Nursing Home.

Palmerston welcomed its first residents, the Potterton family to a lot in Canonbury Circuit, Driver in 1982.

First suburbs developed were Driver and Gray, with Moulden and Woodroffe soon to follow. Roseberry, Bakewell and Gunn were also delivered under the original development schedule. The Coles shopping mall was completed in November 1984, with the Palmerston Tavern opening a month later. Gray Primary School was completed whilst Driver High School was under construction.Palmerston Town Management Advisory Committee

Palmerston’s first local government election was held in May 1984 with four residents to replace appointed representatives on the Palmerston Town Management Advisory Committee. Elected residents included Bill Briscoe, Steve Kelly, Ian Spooner and Lewis Potterton. After Mr Kelly’s resignation he was replaced by Kieth Boakes.

The Municipality of Palmerston was created in April 1985 by Barry Coulter, the Minister for Local Government, with the first local government elections held in June. Palmerston Town Council took office on 29 June 1985 and the first mayor was Michael Ting.

Driver 1982

 Marlow Lagoon 1983









 Photos supplied by Palmerston's first resident, Lewis Potterton to commemorate the City's 30th anniversary.



A Place for People

Council Offices
Civic Plaza, First Floor
2 Chung Wah Terrace,
Palmerston, NT, 0831

P 08 8935 9922 (24 hour service)
F 08 8935 9900

Office Hours
8.15am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Closed public holidays

Palmerston Library
Goyder Square, The Boulevard
Palmerston, NT, 0831

P 08 8935 9999
F 08 8935 9998

Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday 12pm - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm
Closed public holidays

Palmerston Recreation Centre
11 The Boulevard
Palmerston, NT, 0831

P 08 8935 9777
F 08 8931 0122

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 6am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 3pm
Sunday 9am - 1pm
Public holidays 9am - 1pm