Extract from “The Klopper Family” by Clair Barker
When the new District Council of Highercombe was proclaimed on July 4th 1853, Henry became the first councillor for the District of Hope Valley. The first meeting was held on August 2 nd in the Assembly Room of the Bremen Arms Hotel. On October 7 th 1858 with Charles Knowles, he was re-elected as councillor for the reproclaimed District of Highercombe when the area was reduced in size form 47.5 miles to 17 miles square, as proclaimed in the Government Gazette. Local Government was South Australia’s earliest form of self government. South Australia was in fact, the first of the colonies toinstitute the principle of an elected government.
On November 25’h 1852 an Act was passed by Government to appoint District Councils and define their powers. The Act gave the district the power to tax land owners in the district for the making and maintaining of roads, bridges and public buildings. To grant publican, depasturing and slaughtering licences and to built pounds for the impounding of stray cattle, sheep etc. Fines for stray horses and cattle 1 shilling and 3 pence, 6 pence for pigs and 2 pence for sheep and goats. The land owners were taxed at the rate of 1 shilling in the pound. The Council remained divided for 77 years and were united again in 1935 as the District Council of Tea Tree Gully.
Council workers supplied their own tools and for their wage of 5 shillings per day, they were expected to crack 3 yards of metal per day. In the 1860’s stone cracking hammers and picks and shovels were supplied to the regular road workers, but it was not until 1922 that Council could afford tools for the day workers. Also the Council had no “Road Plant” and cartage was hired at the rate £ per day for two horses and cart with man, 6 bullocks and dray with man 15/. In 1856 the Council purchased its first equipment – 2 wooden wheel barrows, two picks, two shovels and one crowbar.1935
Plant Statement” for the Highercombe Council was as follows-
1 Road Roller Value £20
1 Water Cart £20
4 wheelbarrows @5 /- £1
Picks and shovels £2 Total £33
The areas around Adelaide were in the year 1842 divided into Hundreds, and the Hope Valley and Tea Tree Gully settlements were in the Hundred of Yatala, and the boundaries are the same today.