The Bundaberg Region is a local government area in the Wide Bay–Burnett region of Queensland, about 360 kilometres north of Brisbane, the state capital. It is centred on the city of Bundaberg, contains a significant rural area surrounding the city, it was created in 2008 from a merger of the City of Bundaberg with the Shires of Burnett and Kolan. The Bundaberg Regional Council, which administers the Region, has an estimated operating budget of A$89 million. Prior to the 2008 amalgamation, the Bundaberg Region existed as four distinct local government areas: the City of Bundaberg. Local government in the Bundaberg area began on 11 November 1879 with the creation of 74 divisions around Queensland under the Divisional Boards Act 1879; these included the Barolin and Kolan divisions. The first eight years saw several areas break away and become self-governing due to increases in local population; the first was Bundaberg itself, which with an area of 4.1 square kilometres and a population of 1,192, split from Barolin on 22 April 1881 to form the Municipality of Bundaberg under the Local Government Act 1878.
Areas to the south and north of the Burnett River split from Kolan on 31 December 1885, Barolin on 30 January 1886 while on 1 January 1887, the Isis Division further to the south split away from Burrum. Thus by 1887, the Municipality of Bundaberg and the Barolin, Isis and Woongarra Divisions covered the entire territory of what is now the Bundaberg Region. On 31 March 1903, after the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, the Municipality became a Town while the Divisions became Shires. On 22 November 1913, Bundaberg was proclaimed a City. On 21 December 1917, the Shire of Barolin was abolished and its area split between the City of Bundaberg and the Shire of Woongarra. Bundaberg grew to 45.2 square kilometres and was united with what was its entire suburban extent. On 21 November 1991, the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission, created two years earlier, produced its second report, recommended that local government boundaries in the Bundaberg area be rationalised; the Local Government Regulation 1993 was gazetted on 17 December 1993, on 30 March 1994, the Shires of Gooburrum and Woongarra were abolished, with most transferred into a new Shire of Burnett.
A portion of Woongarra was transferred to the City, more than doubling its area and increasing its population by 8,200 in 1991 census terms. On 15 March 2008, under the Local Government Act 2007 passed by the Parliament of Queensland on 10 August 2007, the City of Bundaberg merged with the Shires of Burnett and Kolan to form the Bundaberg Region. Although the Commission recommended the council be undivided with ten councillors and a mayor, the gazetted form was that of 10 divisions each electing a single councillor, plus a mayor representing the whole region; those elected on 19 March 2016 were as follows: Mayor: Jack Dempsey Division 1 Councillor: Jason Bartels Division 2 Councillor: Bill Trevor Division 3 Councillor: Wayne Honor Division 4 Councillor: Helen Blackburn Division 5 Councillor: Greg Barnes Division 6 Councillor: Scott Rowleson Division 7 Councillor: Ross Sommerfeld Division 8 Councillor: David Batt Division 9 Councillor: Judy Peters Division 10 Councillor: Peter Heuser The Bundaberg Region includes the following settlements: 1 - split with Gladstone Region The populations given relate to the component entities prior to 2008.
* The population of the 1996 area of Bundaberg in 1991 was 41,219. The Bundaberg Regional Council operate public libraries in Bundaberg Central, Gin Gin, Woodgate Beach. Official website ECQ map of divisions
Government of Queensland
The Government of Queensland referred to as the Queensland Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth. Key state government offices are located at 1 William Street in the Brisbane central business district; the Government of Queensland operates under the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. The Governor of Queensland, as the representative of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, holds nominal power, although in practice only performs ceremonial duties.
The Parliament of Queensland holds legislative power, while executive power lies with the Premier and Cabinet, judicial power is exercised by a system of courts and tribunals. The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature, it consists of Her Majesty The Queen, a single chamber. Queensland is the only Australian state with a unicameral parliament after a second chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922; the Legislative Assembly has 93 members. Elections for the Legislative Assembly are held every four years; the Cabinet of Queensland is the government's chief policy-making organ, consists of the Premier and all ministers. The Queensland Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility; each portfolio is led by a government minister, a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were nineteen lead agencies, called government departments, that consist of: Department of the Premier and Cabinet Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Department of Education and Training Department of Energy and Water Supply Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland Health Department of Housing and Public Works Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Department of Justice and Attorney-General Department of National Parks and Racing Department of Natural Resources and Mines Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Department of State Development Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland Treasury Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth GamesA range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.
The judiciary of Queensland consists of the Magistrates Court, the District Court, the Supreme Court, as well as a number of smaller courts and tribunals. The Chief Justice of Queensland is the state's most senior judicial officer; the Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. The court's criminal jurisdiction covers summary offences, indictable offences which may be heard summarily, but all criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court if they are not within this jurisdiction. For charges beyond its jurisdiction, the court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court or dismiss it; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000. Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court; the District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.
The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court. Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 but less than or equal to $750,000. Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland. The court has two divisions; the Trial Division's jurisdiction covers serious criminal offences, civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000. The Court of Appeal's jurisdiction allows it to hear cases on appeal from the Trial Division, the District Court, a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia. There are several factors; the legislature has no upper house. For a large portion of its history, the state was under a gerrymander that favoured rural electorates.
This, combined with the decentralised nature of Queensland, meant that politics has been dominated by regional interests. Queensland, along with New South Wales operated a balloting system known as Optional Preferential Voting for state elections; this is different from the predominant Australian electoral system, the instant-runoff voting system, in practice is closer to a first past the post ballot, which some say is to the
Shire of Noosa
The Shire of Noosa is a local government area about 130 kilometres north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast district of South East Queensland, Australia. The shire covers an area of 868.7 square kilometres. The shire existed as a local government entity from 1910 until 2008, when it was amalgamated with the Shire of Maroochy and City of Caloundra to form the Sunshine Coast Region, again from 1 January 2014, when it was re-established; the Noosa area was home to several Aboriginal groups. These include the Undumbi tribe to the south, the Dulingbara to the north, the Kabi Kabi to the west. In 2003 the Australian Federal Court determined that the native title holders for the Noosa area are the Kabi Kabi First Nation. Although much of the culture and presence of the traditional owners of the Noosa district has been lost during the short period of white settlement, there still exist many subtle reminders; these include: bora rings, used during rituals. Canoe trees, marks on trees where bark was removed for canoes.
Border/navigation trees, marks on trees tribal borders. Stone carvings burial trees middens, shell mound created by thousands of years of discarded shells. Stone axes spoken legends, many local legends which were traditionally passed through the generations survive today. Place names, many local names are versions of the original Aboriginal names, it is represented that the name Noosa comes from the local Aboriginal word for shadow or shady place. An 1870 map of Noosa shows the Noosa River as Nusa River; the word Nusa is derived from the Indonesian word for island. A Keeping Place of indigenous cultural and sacred objects is maintained at the Noosa Shire Museum, Pomona. Although reports of the area can be traced back to Captain Cook's voyages in May 1770, European settlement in the region did not proceed for a century; this early settlement was driven firstly by timber logging and secondly a gold rush in the Gympie area, north of Noosa. The difficulty of transport in the region, which persisted to the 1920s and beyond, was one major reason for this.
In 1871, the Government laid out a port at Tewantin, duly surveyed and by 1877 contained two hotels, a boarding house, police station and telegraph office. In 1872, the Noosa Heads and coastal region south to Peregian Beach was set aside as an Aboriginal Mission, however this was cancelled in 1878 and land was opened for selection on 15 January 1879. With the advent of the railway, Tewantin declined in importance. Noosa is a region, not a town, it contains beaches and a beach national park, the cleanest river in South-East Queensland and an extensive trail network inland, linking a number of lifestyle villages, including Cooroy and Pomona. In the last 50 years Noosa has been transformed from an isolated fishing village to a tourist destination. Although this has had its costs the shire is known for its greener approach to development. Most development in Noosa has been restrained. Noosa has no high rise buildings, due both to local community pressure and to council planning action, much remaining native forest.
34.8% of the Noosa district consists of National Parks, Conservation Parks, State Forests, other protected land. The popularity of Noosa Heads comes from the fact, it one of Australia's few North facing beaches located on the East Coast, hence Noosa Beach is protected from on-shore wind and storms; the area was incorporated as part of the Widgee Divisional Board on 11 November 1879 under the Divisional Boards Act 1879. Noosa was created as a separate shire under the Local Authorities Act 1902 in 1910, with an initial population of 2,000; the first elections were held on 22 April 1910 and resulted in James Duke becoming the first shire chairman. The original headquarters for the Shire were constructed in Pomona in 1911. On Saturday 8 September 1917, a Honour Roll was unveiled at the Noosa Shire Hall in Pomona, it was to honour and commemorate those from the district who had left Australia to serve in the armed forces during World War I. In the early 1970s, development commenced in the area around Noosa Sound with Queensland Government backing.
In December 1980, the Shire Chambers moved to Tewantin. The former shire hall in Pomona became. Following the election of Noosa's first green mayor, Noel Playford, in 1988, Noosa's first strategic plan was gazetted, in 1990 development was limited to four storeys. In 1993, a major Council and community complex covering 9 hectares opened at Wallace Park, Noosaville. In 1995, the mayor Noel Playford controversially announced a "population cap" of 56,500 people for Noosa Shire; the population cap was the expected population under the planning scheme if all available land was developed in accordance with the planning scheme. Noosa had performed the calculations for all land in the shire and provided the results in the strategic planning documents. Noosa was the first Council in Australia to do so. On 15 March 2008, under the Local Government Act 2007 passed by the Parliament of Queensland on 10 August 2007, the Shire of Noosa merged with the Shire of Maroochy and the City of Caloundra to form the Sunshine Coast Region.
Noosa's mayor, Bob Abbot, won the mayoralty of the new Council over Maroochy's Joe Natoli with 70% of the combined vote. The amalgamation occurred despite the 2007 referendum in Noosa Shire by the Australian Electoral Commission where 95% of voters rejected amalgamation. In 2012, following a change of state government, a proposal was made to de-amalgamate the Shire of Noosa from the Sunshine Coast Region. O
The Gympie Region is a local government area in the Wide Bay–Burnett region of Queensland, about 170 kilometres north of Brisbane, the state capital. It is between the Sunshine Hervey Bay and centred on the town of Gympie, it was created in 2008 from a merger of the Shires of Cooloola and Kilkivan and part of the Shire of Tiaro. The Regional Council, which governs the Region, has an estimated operating budget of A$50 million. Prior to the 2008 amalgamation, the Gympie Region existed as four distinct local government areas: the Shire of Cooloola; the Gympie area was settled for grazing purposes. The discovery of gold in 1867 led to a gold rush and the development of the Mary River valley for closer agricultural pursuits; the Widgee Divisional Board was incorporated on 11 November 1879 under the Divisional Boards Act 1879. On 3 July 1886, its western part separately incorporated as the Division of Kilkivan. With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, both Widgee and Kilkivan became shires on 31 March 1903.
On 21 November 1940, the Widgee Shire Council moved into new premises occupied by the Bank of New South Wales at 242 Mary Street, Gympie. The Municipal Borough of Gympie was incorporated on 25 June 1880, holding its first elections on 25 August. A town hall was built in 1890, it became a town under the new Act on 31 March 1903, on 7 January 1905 was proclaimed a city by the Governor of Queensland. On 2 November 1993, the Shire of Widgee and the City of Gympie merged under the terms of the Local Government Regulation 1993 to form the Shire of Cooloola; the first elections were held on 27 November 1993 and Adrian McClintock, the former Widgee chairman, was elected for a four-year term. In July 2007, the Local Government Reform Commission released its report and recommended that Cooloola and Kilkivan amalgamate with part of the Shire of Tiaro; the first two councils opposed amalgamation, but in the event of amalgamation, thought the Commission's proposal the best option. Tiaro opposed the plan. On 15 March 2008, the three shires ceased to exist, elections were held on the same day to elect eight councillors and a mayor to the Regional Council.
Ron Dyne, the former mayor of Kilkivan, was elected as the region's first mayor. The former Cooloola Shire Council Chambers is now used as the Gympie Regional Council Chambers; the council remains undivided and its elected body consists of eight councillors and a mayor, elected for a four-year term. The mayor of the Gympie Regional Council is Mick Curran, following the resignation of Ron Dyne, the former mayor of Kilkivan, in December 2014 due to health reasons. Ron Dyne died in February 2015. Mayor Mick Curran was elected in the Gympie Regional Council election on 19 March 2016; the councillors are:, Mark McDonald – Division 1 Glen Hartwig – Division 2 Mal Gear – Division 3 Daryl Dodt – Division 4 Dan Stewart – Division 5 Hilary Smerdon – Division 6 Bob Leitch – Division 7 James Cochrane – Division 8 2015 -:Mick Curran 2016 -:Mick Curran The Gympie Region includes the following settlements: 1 - split with Fraser Coast Region The Gympie Regional Council operate public libraries at Goomeri, Imbil, Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay.
The populations given relate to the component entities prior to 2008. The next census, due in 2011, will be the first for the new Region. Estimates for the Tiaro component, not included in the figures below, are: 1,315. Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve Gympie Regional Council website Media related to Gympie Region at Wikimedia Commons
South East Queensland
South East Queensland is a bio-geographical and administrative region of the state of Queensland in Australia, which contains 3.5 million people out of the state's population of 4.8 million. The area covered by South East Queensland varies, depending on the definition of the region, though it tends to include Queensland's three largest cities: the capital city Brisbane, its most common use is for political purposes, covers 22,420 square kilometres and incorporates 11 local government areas, extending 240 kilometres from Noosa in the north to the Gold Coast and New South Wales border in the south, 140 kilometres west to Toowoomba. South East Queensland was the first part of Queensland to be explored by Europeans. Settlements arose in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas with activity by European immigrants spreading in all directions from there. Various industries such as timber cutting and agriculture developed at locations around the region from the 1840s onwards. Transport links have been shaped by the range of terrains found in South East Queensland.
The economy of South East Queensland supports and relies on a wide diversity of agricultural manufacturing industries and tourism. The region has TransLink. South East Queensland, classified as an interim Australian bioregion, comprises 7,804,921 hectares and includes the Moreton Basin, South Burnett, the Scenic Rim along with ten other biogeographic subregions; the term South East Queensland has no equivalent political representation. The area covers many lower house seats at the federal and state levels; as Queensland has no upper house, there are no Legislative Council provinces or regions to bear the name either. South East Queensland was home to around 20,000 Aboriginals prior to British occupation; the local tribes of the area were the Yuggurapul of the Central Brisbane area. According to history researchers the Aboriginal population declined to around 10,000 over the next 60 years. Early explorers in the area including Matthew Flinders, Allan Cunningham, John Oxley and Patrick Logan. Around 1839, European settlers were able to move into the region.
Logging was the first industry to develop. The first railway built in Queensland linked Grandchester to Ipswich in 1865 along a narrow 1067 mm gauge. Major floods were experienced in 1893, 1974 and 2011. In 2005, the region suffered its worst drought in recorded history. Queensland's third highest peak, Mount Barney, is located in the south of the region; the Cunningham Highway passes southwest to the Darling Downs via Cunninghams Gap. Several highways including the Bruce Highway, Warrego Highway and the Pacific Motorway link to the adjoining regions; the region is mountainous. McPherson Range, Teviot Range, D'Aguilar Range, Little Liverpool Range, Blackall Range as well as the Springbrook Plateau and Tamborine Mountain Plateau. Isolated volcanic peaks are found at the Glass House Mountains. Along the coast are several large islands including Bribie Island, Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island with many smaller islands in Moreton Bay. Several major water supply and flood mitigation dams have been constructed here.
The Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and Gold Coast Desalination Plant were built to counter the effects of drought in South East Queensland. South East Queensland consists of the following regions, each of, a local government area: Brisbane – the capital and largest city of Queensland; the Brisbane metropolitan area consists of the City of Brisbane, as well as the following local governments: Ipswich City – an outer-suburban city with an industrial and mining heritage west of Brisbane. Logan City – a residential area between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Moreton Bay Region – a residential area between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Redland City – a residential and agricultural area on the shores of Moreton Bay to the south-east of Brisbane. City of Gold Coast – a major tourist and retirement destination to the south of Brisbane, the largest non-capital city in Australia. Sunshine Coast Region – a coastal tourist and agricultural region to the north of Brisbane; the Glass House Mountains are a symbol of this region.
West Moreton, a rural area in the Great Dividing Range consisting of: Toowoomba City – the Toowoomba city is included in both the South East Queensland region and within Western Downs region due to its importance to both regions as a gateway city providing access to the west of the state. Lockyer Valley Region – an agricultural area west of Ipswich, known for its fruit and vegetable production. Scenic Rim Region – a pastoral area inland from the Gold Coast known for its scenic mountains and villages. Somerset Region – a pastoral area north west of Brisbane and location of two major dams supplying South East Queensland with water; this area is known as the Brisbane Valley. The Tweed Shire is within NSW but is included in planning processes for SEQ. While not part of the
Cape York Peninsula
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia; the land is flat and about half of the area is used for grazing cattle. The undisturbed eucalyptus-wooded savannahs, tropical rainforests and other types of habitat are now recognized and preserved for their global environmental significance, but native wildlife is threatened by introduced species and weeds. In 1606, Dutch sailor Willem Janszoon on board the Duyfken reached Australia as its first known European explorer, discovering the Cape York Peninsula. In February 1606, Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed near the site of what is now Weipa, on the western shore of Cape York – This was the first recorded landing of a European in Australia, it marked the first reported contact between European and Aboriginal Australian people. Edmund Kennedy was the first European explorer to attempt an overland expedition of Cape York Peninsula, he had been second-in-command to Thomas Livingstone Mitchell in 1846 when the Barcoo River was discovered.
The aim was to establish a route to the tip of the peninsula, where Sydney businessmen were attempting development of a port for trade with the East Indies. The expedition set out from Rockingham Bay near the present town of Cardwell in May 1848, it turned out to be one of the great disasters of Australian exploration. Of the thirteen men who set out, only three survived; the others were speared by hostile aborigines. Kennedy died of spear wounds within sight of his destination in December 1848; the only survivor to complete the journey was an aborigine from New South Wales. He led a rescue party to the other two, unable to continue; the peninsula was reached in 1864 when the brothers Francis Lascelles and Alexander William Jardine, along with eight companions, drove a mob of cattle from Rockhampton to the new settlement of Somerset where the Jardines’ father was commander. En route they lost most of their horses, many of their stores and fought pitched battles with Aborigines arriving in March 1865.
The west coast borders the Gulf of Carpentaria and the east coast borders the Coral Sea. The peninsula is bordered on three sides. There is no clear demarcation to the south, although the official boundary in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 of Queensland runs along at about 16°S latitude. At the peninsula’s widest point, it is 430 km from the Bloomfield River in the southeast, across to the west coast just south of the aboriginal community of Kowanyama, it is some 660 km from the southern border of Cook Shire, to the tip of Cape York. The largest islands in the strait include Prince of Wales Island, Horn Island and Badu Island. At the tip of the peninsula lies Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian mainland, it was named by Lieutenant James Cook on 21 August 1770 in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, a brother of King George III of the United Kingdom, who had died three years earlier: The point of the Main, which forms one side of the Passage before mentioned, and, the Northern Promontory of this Country, I have named York Cape, in honour of his late Royal Highness, the Duke of York.
The tropical landscapes are among the most stable in the world. Long undisturbed by tectonic activity, the peninsula is an eroded level low plain dominated by meandering rivers and vast floodplains, with some low hills rising to 800 m elevation in the McIlwraith Range on the eastern side around Coen; the backbone of Cape York Peninsula is the peninsula ridge, part of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. This mountain range is made up of ancient Palaeozoic rocks. To the east and west of the peninsula ridge lie the Carpentaria and Laura Basins, themselves made up of ancient Mesozoic sediments. There are several outstanding landforms on the peninsula: the large expanses of undisturbed dunefields at the eastern coast around Shelburne Bay and Cape Bedford-Cape Flattery; the soils are remarkably infertile compared to other areas of Australia, being entirely laterised and in most cases so old and weathered that little development is apparent today. It is because of this extraordinary soil poverty that the region is so thinly settled: the soils are so unworkable and unresponsive to fertilisers that attempts to grow commercial crops have failed.
The climate on Cape York Peninsula is tropical and monsoonal, with a heavy monsoon season from November to April, during which time the forest becomes uninhabitable, a dry season from May to October. The temperature is warm to hot, with a cooler climate in higher areas; the mean annual temperatures range from 18 °C at higher elevations to 27 °C on the lowlands in the drier southwest. Temperatures over 40 °C and below 5 °C are rare. Annual rainfall is high, ranging from over 2,000 millimetres in the Iron Range and north of Weipa to about 700 millimetres at the southern border. All this rain falls between November and April, only on the eastern slopes of the Iron Range is the median rainfall between June and September above 5 millimetres. Between January and March, the median monthly rainfall ranges from about 170 millimetres in the south to over 500 millimetres in the north and on the Iron Range; the Peninsula Ridge forms the drainage divide between the Gulf of Car
Wide Bay–Burnett is a region of the Australian state of Queensland, located between 170 and 400 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. The area's population growth has exceeded the state average over the past 20 years, it is forecast to grow to more than 430,000 by 2031, it is the subject of the Draft Wide Bay–Burnett Regional Plan, which aims to facilitate this growth while protecting over 90% of the region from urban development. Wide Bay was the name given by the early European explorer James Cook to a coastal indentation as he was sailing past Double Island Point; as the Port of Maryborough developed during the 19th century Wide Bay became well known as ships passed through the area before entering the Great Sandy Strait and the port. The coastal parts of the region are centered on the city of Maryborough; the inland is defined by a series of ranges. In the southeast of the region is a coastal area known as Cooloola; the Wide Bay–Burnett region consists of the following local government areas: 1 Noosa is sometimes included in the region by tourism authorities, but is formally excluded by both the ABS and the Queensland Government's Department of Infrastructure and Planning.
Fraser Island is located along the southern coast of Queensland 200 kilometres north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 kilometres and its width is 24 kilometres and it is separated from the mainland by the Great Sandy Strait; the island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². It is Queensland's largest island, Australia's sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia; the island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand, accumulating for 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment, carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Fraser Island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile; the island is protected in the Great Sandy National Park. The South Burnett is a peanut growing and wine-producing region on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, north of the Darling Downs.
The Bunya Mountains mark the southern boundary of the region. 12 km from Murgon is the Bjelke-Petersen Dam. Other dams in the region include Boondooma Dam. Tarong Power Station and the Tarong National Park are both in the south of the Burnett; the area is dominated by the Cooloola sandmass. Fraser Island belong to the same sandmass, it once extended 30 km to the east. Large vegetated sand dunes have formed a varied terrain noted for its scientific importance, they contain the longest known chronosequence of coastal dunes in the world, covering 730,000 years. The area was once part of the Shire of Cooloola until 2008. James Nash reported the discovery of gold near Gympie on 16 October 1867; the railway from Maryborough completed in 1881 and the North Coast railway reached Gympie from Brisbane in 1891. Bundaberg was named and surveyed in 1870. In June 2000, a fire raged through a backpackers hostel. In January 2013, Cyclone Oswald brought severe flooding to much of eastern Queensland, its impact was most severe in the Wide Bay–Burnett region with Bundaberg hard hit by both flooding and tornadoes.
4,000 properties were damaged. Cities in the region are Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough; some of the more notable towns include Bargara, Blackbutt, Burnett Heads, Childers, Gayndah, Gin Gin, Imbil, Kingaroy, Mundubbera, Nanango, Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay and Wondai. The sheltered waters of Hervey Bay provide a unique playground for migrating humpback whales; the tourist industry has grown along with the number of whales, leading to Hervey Bay being called the whale watching capital of Australia. The region includes two universities: Central Queensland University at Bundaberg, the University of Sunshine Coast's Fraser Campus at Hervey Bay; the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE operates from campuses at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough, with the Maryborough campus. A campus of Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE is located at Kingaroy; the Wide Bay–Burnett region contains four large airports. These are Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Kingaroy. Hervey Bay and Bundaberg airports are serviced by regular passenger flights.
The Bruce Highway links the region to Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns, while the Burnett Highway and Isis Highway form part of an inland transport corridor to Toowoomba and central New South Wales. Queensland Rail operates daily high-speed Tilt Train services to Gympie and Bundaberg. Public transport operated by Wide Bay Transit, Polleys Coaches and Duffy's City Buses connect at the railway stations. Public transport options for the inland areas are more limited, with buses linking the main towns to each other and Brisbane once a day, once-weekly "shopper buses" in some towns. Wide Bay Burnett Region Regional Development Australia – Wide Bay Burnett Wide Bay Regional Organisation of Councils website Wide Bay Burnett Region