Gympie Regional Council was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Cooloola and Kilkivan Shires and the southern part (30%) of Tiaro Shire. Cooloola Shire had been formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of Gympie City and Widgee Shire.
Gympie Regional Council extends inland from the coast of Cooloola National Park for about 150 km, and its north-south extremities are Theebine and the approach to Kenilworth. The constituent shires' contributions to the new regional council were:
The North Coast railway (1889) passes through the regional council area and at Gympie there was a branch line into the forest-plantation and farm towns of Kandanga and Imbil. Further north, another branch runs west to Kilkivan (1886) and on to Goomeri and Kingaroy (1902, 1904).
The northern continuation of the Connondale Range, the Jimna Range, separated Kilkivan and Cooloola Shires. The range and the undulating westwards grazing lands support mainly beef herds.
Gympie is the main centre for wholesale and retail distribution, and accounted for 56% of employment in those industries in the former Cooloola Shire. The other 44% was found in Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, the Mary Valley towns such as Imbil and other villages.
The median ages of the population in 2011 was 43 years, compared with 37 for Australia. The older rural population and the attraction of retirement places like Cooloola Cove were underlying causes.
Gympie Regional Council's census population has been:
Cooloola and Kilkivan Shires and Gympie entries