Culture and heritage

Heritage

Letters patent

The Prospect County Council was established in 1956 as a cooperative approach by nine local councils in Western Sydney to maintaining and providing electricity within their region or 'county'. The Local Government Act 1919 provided for such county councils to be established by groups of local councils to provide certain functions or services on a shared basis. Prospect County Council was reincorporated as Prospect Electricity in 1993, and stopped using the Arms from that time.

Prospect County Council was granted its coat of arms on 20th July 1972. The blazon is: Arms: Argent four bars wavy Azure a thunderbolt proper winged Or on a chief Gules a cogwheel between a garb and fleece or both banded Azure. Crest: on a wreath Or and Azure within a mural crown proper a lion rampant Gules holding between the forepaws an escarbuncle having nine rays Sable and resting the dexter hindpaw on a sun in splendour Gold. Supporters: on the dexter side an Australian Aboriginal male with traditional tribal markings holding in his exterior hand three spears and a bark shield also decorated in traditional manner and on the sinister side a Private of the NSW Corps in the uniform of the Line of about 1805 holding in his exterior hand a flintlock rifle and bayonet fixed. Badge: on a plate fimbriated Gules and charged with an orle of nine bezants a thunderbolt proper. Motto: Arte et Labore.

The wheatsheaf and golden fleece in the chief (top) of the shield allude to the early colonial industries of western Sydney, with the cogwheel symbolising prosperity through industry. The four wavy blue lines symbolise the region's four main rivers, while the winged thunderbolt is the heraldic symbol for electricity. The Aboriginal man represents the pre-colonial people of the area, with his shield carrying the symbols and marks of Western Sydney's Indigenous heraldry; while the NSW Corps soldier alludes to the military barracks that preceded many of the towns in the area. The blue and gold mantling alludes to the colours of Parramatta (the seat of the county council), and the mural crown of sandstone is a traditional symbol of municipal authority. The lion (representing authority) holds an escarbuncle (a device used in ancient times to strengthen a shield) of nine rays, alluding to the strength of the nine municipalities combined, while his paw rests on a sun symbolising heat, light and power emblematic of the council's functions. The motto translates from Latin as "By skill and toil".

Some questions to research:

  1. Were there other county councils formed in NSW after 1919 - and if so what are some examples of the symbols and emblems they used?
  2. What might the Prospect County Council have intended to achieve in obtaining a formal grant of arms rather than using a simple logo?

Image source: Nathanael Hughes, 11th October 2006

Page last updated: 01 September 2012