In 1892, the Shire was governed by a Mackinlay Divisional Board and in 1902 the Shire Council was incorporated. Up until 1914, the Council elected its own Chairman - the first Chairman was Mr Charles Cameron. Mr W.M Allison was the longest serving Chairman, he joined the council in 1914 and became Chairman in 1915 holding the position for 37 years - showing the high esteem in which he was held by the people of the Shire.
In 1932, the new shire, also named McKinlay was moved to Julia Creek. The spelling of the name Mackinlay was changed to McKinlay in 1935, however the reason for this is unknown but presume it is because of the spelling of John McKinlay's name (the explorer who discovered McKinlay).
The Shire office was originally located on the corner of Julia and Coyne Streets, where it remained for 30 years, until the new Council Chambers were erected on the corner of Burke and Julia Streets in 1961. These Council Chambers remain today.
(Information courtesy if the Julia Creek Historical Society and the McKinlay Centenary 1888-1988 book).