Penrith City Council Celebrates its 150th Anniversary

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Penrith City Council has reached an important milestone – this year is the 150th anniversary of Penrith becoming a municipality.

After many petitions from local residents, on 12 May 1871 the district of Penrith was proclaimed a municipality and announced in the NSW Government Gazette the following day. The population of Penrith township at the time was 836.

The last 150 years have seen us grow into a significant city: in 1949, Penrith amalgamated with St Marys, Castlereagh and parts of the Nepean Shire. In 1963, Emu Plains and Emu Heights joined Penrith City, and the boundaries of our contemporary city were drawn.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown OAM shared her immense pride to be part of a Council which has played such an important part in the development of our area and community.

“From its earliest beginnings, Penrith City Council has been innovative and dedicated to serving local people, a lineage that continues today.”

“In the 1890s, Council enacted bylaws to keep people safe from diseases like typhoid and diphtheria. In the 1920s, Council implemented a garbage removal system so that residents no longer had to burn or bury waste in their backyards,” Cr McKeown said.

“Penrith was the first town in the Sydney region to connect electricity for street lights and private homes in 1890, just as we were the first in Sydney to implement the Food Organics and Garden Organics system in 2009. There is a strong tradition of innovation in Penrith City Council, and that is something to celebrate,” Cr McKeown concluded.

Between May and August of this year, our City will mark this occasion in several ways: historical artefacts from the last century and a half will be on display in Penrith City Library, and a Civic Reception will be held to honour the anniversary among other achievements and local heroes. History from the last 150 years will be shared across our social media channels, plus the Winter Issue of Our Place community newsletter will celebrate our past achievements and the opportunities they have created for Penrith’s future. Later in the year, a commemorative booklet will be released in a limited print run and will also be available digitally.

To delve further into the 150 year-long history of Penrith City Council, please visit

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Tuesday, 18 May 2021.