The North West County Council (NWCC) was formed at a meeting at Warialda in May 1945 attended by delegates from the Severn, Ashford, Macintyre, Guyra, Bingara, Yallaroi, Boomi and Boolooroo Shire councils as well as the Moree Municipal Council.
Cr D.G. Mather (Macintyre Shire president) was appointed chairman with Cr R.A. Black his deputy and Mr J. A. Gilroy as clerk. These men were then elected at the first official meeting held in Inverell in August that year.
In 1995, after 50 years of electricity generation and distribution, the NWCC... was taken over by the state government.
The objective was to “control electricity undertakings” and negotiations began “regarding a continuous supply of Ashford coal at a reasonable price”.
Inverell Municipal Council eventually joined NWCC in 1949. Money had to be found for the Ashford power station and after a major local fundraising effort, 750,000 pounds ($1.5 million) was raised locally.
While the establishment of the power station provided employment, residents across the region were quick to make the change to electrical appliances from things such as kerosene lamps and fridges and wood stoves.
Following a fire in 1954 which destroyed the engineering offices and records of the NWCC in the Byron Arcade, new administrative premises were required. The site on the corner of Otho and Rivers streets was chosen.
The new NWCC office was officially opened at 4.30pm on Friday, October 15, 1954 by the Minister for Local Government, J. B. Renshaw.
Praise was given to the architects of the building, Mr F J Madigan and his son Colin. The builders were R & B Constructions of South Lismore. It was a departure from traditional architectural design, with massive colonnades. A spacious all-glass constructed showroom let in natural light, unique for the time. Upstairs were the main offices and meeting rooms.
In 1995, after 50 years of electricity generation and distribution, the NWCC, trading as North West Electricity, and its $9m reserves were taken over by the state government. It became a larger organisation called Northpower, administered from Port Macquarie. The Ashford power station was decommissioned, jobs were lost and the headquarters building closed.
Today, Skybridge Financial occupy the former NWCC premises.