Gladstone Regional Council was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Gladstone City and Calliope and Miriam Vale Shires.
Gladstone, a port city, was enclosed on its landward sides by Calliope Shire. The mouth of the Calliope River is near the port of Gladstone and the river extends westwards through the former Calliope Shire. The shire boundary was about 80 km from the coast, and is the regional council's western boundary. Northwards, the regional council area reaches to the tip of Curtis Island and southwards to Lake Monduran on the Kolan River.
Gladstone has been called the city that waited. It was connected to the North Coast railway early enough, in 1896, but feeder lines inland came more slowly. A line was built southwards to the Many Peaks copper-mine town in 1910, but the high-volume freight line from the Moura coal fields via Calliope and Banana was not built until 1968.
Calliope Shire (1879) included the Miriam Vale area until 1902 and had its council offices in Gladstone until 1975. The three local-government areas now comprising the Gladstone Regional Council had fewer than 7000 people between them in 1911. The following table summarises some relevant data:
Slightly over half of Calliope Shire's population was in Boyne Island and Tannum Sands in 2006, dormitory suburbs for aluminium, limestone and other heavy industries. The port of Gladstone handles large coal exports, followed by alumina, aluminium and cement. The Moura to Gladstone railway is fed by lines from coalfields at Callide and Moura and carries produce from around Biloela and Banana.
Miriam Vale Shire had a steady agricultural output, and that industry was the leading employment sector (19% of total employment) in 2006. Retail and wholesale distribution followed, with 15% of employment, and then construction (10%) and accommodation and hospitality (8.5%). The last two reflect the growth in the coastal resort/retirement towns of Agnes Water and the Town of 1770.
Gladstone City, however, had 57% of the Regional Council's census population of 50,755 (2006). Retail and wholesale jobs were Gladstone's leading employment sector, and manufacturing at 19% testified to the city's industrial base.
Gladstone, Gladstone Localities, Calliope Shire and Miriam Vale Shire entries