Robert Porter was a contractor, mostly in bridge and wharf construction in both the northern and southern parts of Queensland. Robert Porter was an alderman for the Ward of Kangaroo Point from 1867 (1868?) to 1870 and then again from 1880 to 1888 (1885?), during which time he was mayor in 1882. He served on the following committees:
Improvement Committee 1868–1870, 1881.
Legislative Committee 1868, 1869, 1882, 1884, 1888.
Bridge Committee 1868–1870. Town Hall Committee 1868, 1869, 1885.
Wharfage Committee 1881. Works Committee 1885, 1888.
Voting at that time was done by crossing out the names of the undesired candidates.
The matter was adjudicated in the Supreme Court of Queensland on 15 February 1888 where the a panel of three judges decided that these disputed votes should be counted as votes for Galloway, thus electing him in the East Ward. Robert Porter was a Government representative on the Brisbane Fire Brigade Board for many years.
Robert Porter was a Member of Board of Waterworks 1893–1901, resigning only due to his failing health (he died in 1902).