Western Downs Region is a local government area in Queensland, Australia. The Western Downs Regional Council manages an area of 37,937 square kilometres (14,648 sq mi), which is slightly smaller than Switzerland, although with a population of 34,467 in June 2018, it is over 228 times less densely populated.
The area is home to prime farming land and thus agriculture is a major industry in the area. Dalby, the biggest town in the region is home to the second largest cattle saleyards in Australia. The Dalby Saleyards process over 200,000 cattle annually in its facility which is comparable to Rockhampton and Casino.
The Western Downs Regional Council's Corporate Office is situated at 30 Marble Street, Dalby.
Baranggum (also known as Barrunggam, Barunggam Parrungoom, Murrumgama) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Baranggum people. The Baranggum language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Western Downs Regional Council, particularly Dalby, Tara, Jandowae and west towards Chinchilla.
Western Downs Region was created in March 2008 as a result of the report of the Local Government Reform Commission released in July 2007.
Prior to the 2008 amalgamation, the new Region, located in the Darling Downs region, consisted the entire area of five previous local government areas:
- the Town of Dalby;
- the Shire of Chinchilla;
- the Shire of Murilla;
- the Shire of Tara;
- the Shire of Wambo;
- and Division 2 of the Shire of Taroom.
The report recommended that the new local government area should not be divided into wards and elect ten councillors and a mayor. The report estimated that the resident population in 2006 was 30,018 and the operating budget was A$74 million.
Originally called Dalby Region, a name change to Western Downs was approved in August 2009. The name change was greeted positively by residents as they felt the name was more inclusive and a better representation of the area. The name "Western Downs" stems from the phrase Darling Downs, and as the name suggests; the area to the west of the downs.
Towns and localities
The Western Downs Region includes the following settlements:
South Taroom area:
1 - shared with the Shire of Banana
|Bell||544||39 km NE of Dalby|
|Brigalow||404||62 km NW of Dalby, 20 km SE of Chinchilla|
|Chinchilla||5,487||82 km NW of Dalby|
|Condamine||426||125 km W of Dalby, 59 km SW of Chinchilla|
|Dalby||12,299||210 km WNW of Brisbane, 82 km SE of Dalby|
|Drillham||217||148 WNW of Dalby, 66 km W of Chinchilla|
|Dulacca||249||170 km WNW of Dalby, 89 km W of Chinchilla|
|Glenmorgan||385||173 km W of Dalby, 138 km SW of Chinchilla|
|Jandowae||1,246||49 km NNW of Dalby, 56 km E of Chinchilla|
|Jimbour||185||26 km N of Dalby, 73 km ESE of Chinchilla|
|Kaimkillenbun||566||24 km NE of Dalby|
|Kogan||355||53 km WNW of Dalby, 46 km SE of Chinchilla|
|Miles||1854||127 km WNW of Dalby, 46 km W of Chinchilla|
|Moonie||253||114 km SW of Dalby, 144 km S of Chinchilla|
|Tara||2,211||89 km W of Dalby, 70 km S of Chinchilla|
|The Gums||170||117 km WSW of Dalby, 96 km SSW of Chinchilla|
|Wandoan||665||196 km NW of Dalby, 115 km NW of Chinchilla|
|Warra||318||46 km NW of Dalby, 36 km SE of Chinchilla|
- * - shared with the Shire of Banana
Mayors and councillors
The councillors elected in 2016 were:
- Andrew Smith* (2008–Present)
- Carolyn Tillman* (2008–Present)
- Greg Olm (2012–Present)
- Ian Rasmussen (2012–Present)
- Peter Saxelby (2016–Present)
- Kaye Maguire (2016–Present)
- Donna Ashurst (2016–Present)
*was representative of a region pre-amalgamation
- "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Local Government Area (ASGS 2018), 2017 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
- "Baranggum". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- "Council set to launch new identity". Western Downs Regional Council. 5 August 2009. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Branch Libraries". Western Downs Regional Council. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "2008 Dalby Regional Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "2012 Western Downs Regional Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Councillor Profiles". Western Downs Regional Council. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Councillors Profiles". Western Downs Regional Council. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "2020 Local Government Elections: Saturday, 28 March 2020". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.[dead link]
- "2016 Western Downs Regional Council - Councillor Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
Media related to Western Downs Region at Wikimedia Commons