Council Profile Council Profile

The Central Highlands Regional Council was created on March 15, 2008, following the amalgamation of the former Shires of Bauhinia, Duaringa, Emerald and Peak Downs..

The Council area extends over approximately 60,000 square kilometres, stretching from the Arcadia Valley in the south to the Peak Ranges in the north, east from Boolburra to Bogantungan in the west. Our region is characterized by vibrant townships, spectacular natural scenery, fertile farming country, highly improved livestock grazing land, operational coal mines and rich untapped resource reserves.

Our stunning natural features include the Gemfields, the largest sapphire producing fields in the Southern Hemisphere, Carnarvorn Gorge, Blackdown Tablelands and the Peak Downs ranges.

Our Council has in excess of $800 million in assets, including eleven library branches, six aquatic centres, and seven customer service centres. We maintain 4632 kilometres of roads, and numerous parks and gardens, including the glorious Botanical Gardens in Emerald, and the new Linear Parkland in Capella.

Other services provided by Council include youth services, art spaces, cultural and community development, animal rescue and management, seniors and youth housing, water and sewerage, waste collection, and more recently, kerbside recycling.

Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population, in 2008,  29,244 people called the Central Highlands home.

More information, including detailed information on towns and areas within the Regional Council can be found on our Community Profile and Community Atlas pages.

Our History Our History

In December  2009, Queensland celebrated its 150th year. It is fitting that in our state’s 150th year, and Council’s first, we reflect on the journey to us becoming the Central Highlands Regional Council. 

Commenced as:

Changed to:

Changed to:

March 15 2008

Bauhinia Division (1879-1903)

Bauhinia Shire (1903-2008)


Central Highlands Regional Council

Duaringa Division (1881-1903)

Duaringa Shire (1903-2008), losing Woorabinda Shire in 1986


Central Highlands Regional Council

 Peak Downs Division (1884-1903) (part)

Emerald Division (1902-1903)

Emerald Shire (1903-2008)

Central Highlands Regional Council

Peak Downs Division (1884-1903), losing part to Emerald Division (1902-1903) in 1902

Peak Downs Shire (1903-2008)


Central Highlands Regional Council

Source: Queensland Treasury 2009, Historical Tables, Historical Register of Local Government Names, Queensland, 1859 to 2008-09 (Q150 Release).

Council acknowledges and respects the history and cultures of the indigenous peoples and communities of the Central Highlands region.