In 1980, the Northern Territory Government established the Palmerston Development Authority to finance, plan, develop and manage a new town south-east from the Territory’s capital of Darwin.

This was due to Darwin’s fast growing population of approximately 6% per year, placing pressure on land availability and services. The plan was to create a new town development - Palmerston, using the latest planning techniques, building superior services and facilities from the start, and providing land at a price affordable to people wanting to build a house.

Initial capital works centered on roads, electricity and water supplies, earthworks and residential lot development. The first infrastructure assets to be included were the Water Tower, Highway House and the Chan Park Nursing Home. 

Palmerston welcomed its first residents, the Potterton family, to a lot in Canonbury Circuit, Driver in 1982.

The first suburbs developed were Driver and Gray, with Moulden and Woodroffe soon to follow. Rosebery, Bakewell and Gunn were also delivered under the original development schedule. The Coles Shopping Centre was completed in November 1984, with the Palmerston Tavern opening a month later. 

The municipality of Palmerston was created in April 1985 by Barry Coulter, the Minister for Local Government, with Local Government Elections held in June. Palmerston Town Council took office on 29 June 1985 and the first Mayor was Michael Ting.

Palmerston continued to grow and was declared a city on 2 August 2000. 

Now the fastest growing city in the Northern Territory, Palmerston has 18 suburbs that are mainly residential suburbs, complemented by the light industrial areas in Pinelands and Yarrawonga.

Photos supplied by Palmerston's first resident, Lewis Potterton to commemorate the City's 30th anniversary.