|District Council of East Torrens|
|Council seat||Norton Summit (1936)|
It was gazetted on 2 June 1853, on the same day as Onkaparinga and Hindmarsh. Local government had only been introduced in South Australia in 1852, and only the City of Adelaide (1852) and District Council of Mitcham (12 May 1853) had been created earlier.
At the time of establishment the East Torrens council covered 12 square miles (31 km2) including almost half of the Hundred of Adelaide and a large western portion of the Hundred of Onkaparinga. Excepting the six sections of the Hundred of Adelaide that would constitute the Town of Norwood and Kensington days later, the East Torrens council was bounded by the River Torrens to the north, the Adelaide Parklands to the west, the Great Eastern Road (now the South Eastern Freeway) to the south, and included most of the modern Adelaide Hills localities of Mount George, Carey Gully, Forest Range, Montacute and Castambul on the eastern boundary.
The council's first five members were Dr David Wark, James Cobbledick, Charles Bonney, Daniel Ferguson and George Müller, as appointed by the Governor alongside the proclamation under the District Councils Act 1852 pending subsequent elections. It was subsequently divided up into five wards: St Bernards, Uraidla, Norwood, Glenunga and Stepney. The councillors met for the first time at the World's End Hotel in Magill on 12 June 1853.
In 1855 the population of the council area was 3,705, higher by a thousand than the adjacent Town of Kensington and Norwood.
The huge area of East Torrens was not to prove as stable as Kensington and Norwood. Ratepayers were frustrated as to where their money was going; councillors did not have the administration or funds to operate effectively and the interests of the area were hugely varied. On 14 August 1856, the district councils of Payneham and Burnside were separated, respectively, from the north west and south west, city-side parts of East Torrens. East Torrens council was further divided in 1858 with the secession of the District Council of Crafers. The original East Torrens council had broken up into eight separate councils or partial councils (including the remainder East Torrens itself) by 1930. Apart from St Peters, Payneham, Campbelltown, Burnside and Crafers, parts of the rural district councils of Onkaparinga and Talunga had annexed parts of East Torrens. The main population centre at the heart of the remaining area was Norton Summit which was host to council meetings from 1897 and had become the official seat of the council by 1903.
The District Council of East Torrens, though drastically reduced in size by the 1930s, existed until 1997, when it amalgamated with the District Council of Gumeracha, the District Council of Onkaparinga and the District Council of Stirling to form the Adelaide Hills Council.
The following adjacent local government bodies co-existed with the East Torrens council prior to the secession of the district councils of Payneham and Burnside in 1856:
From 1856 the shape of the East Torrens council changed dramatically with the establishment of Payneham and Burnside councils adjacent to the River Torrens. From 1856 the following adjacent local government bodies co-existed to East Torrens council:
Bounded on the south by the Great Eastern Road, commencing at the point of intersection of the north side of said road with the south boundary of the Park Lands, and continuing by the said road to the southern corner of Section 1136; thence northerly alongthesouthern boundaries of 1136 and 48 to the east angle of Section 48, thence by as direct a line as practicable to the south-east angle of Section 34. thence by the east boundaries of 34 and 35, to the northern angle of the latter Section; thence by as straight a line as practicable to the Stringy-bark Trigonometrical Station, thence by Hundred boundary between Talunga and Onkaparinga to the point of intersection with the River Torrens; thence westerly by the centre of the River Torrens to its intersection with the eastern boundary of the Park Lands; thence southerly, by the eastern boundary of the Park Lands, to their south-east angle; thence westerly, by the south boundary of the Park Lands, to the point of commencement, alwavs excepting Preliminary Sections 260, 261, 277, 276, and the roads on their east and west sides, and preliminary Sections 289 and 290, which are not included in the District of East Torrens.
[East Torrens DC] outlined a district twelve miles square and stretching from the [Adelaide] city parklands far into the hills [...] It was far too big for management from horse and cart, and the needs of the inhabitants were too disparate - timber workers and market gardeners scattered sparsely in the hills, village settlements at Payneham, Magill and Glen Osmond, and nearer the city, the embryonic suburbs of Stepney, Kent Town and parts of Hackney
The original boundaries of the District included the present Corporation of St. Peters, the District Councils of Payneham, Campbelltown, and Burnside, portion of Crafers, Onkaparinga, and Talunga.