Longreach Regional Council was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Longreach, Ilfracombe and Isisford Shires. Its area is 40,638 sq km, to which the constituents' contributions were:
|Local Government Authority||Area (sq km)|
Longreach Shire also contributed the lion's share of population, 3523 (2006). Ilfracombe and Isisford Shires had 269 and 262 respectively. Longreach town had 2976 people. It is 620 km west of Rockhampton.
Longreach Regional Council's northern boundary is near Muttaburra where several watercourses converge as the Thomson River. Flowing south, the Thomson passes through the town of Longreach, gathering flows from Aramac Creek and other streams until entering the Cooper system. East of the Thomson River, the Barcoo flows south-west, passing through Isisford and exiting the Longreach Regional Council's area near the former railway terminus at Yaraka. It, too, joins the Cooper system.
Ilfracombe, 27 km east of Longreach, was the smallest of the three shires, and constitutes the north-east part of the Longreach Regional Council's area.
The Central Railway, running directly west from Rockhampton, reached Ilfracombe in 1891 and Longreach the next year. There it rested until the mid-1920s when extensions were built to Winton. The Capricorn Highway is the other component of the western transport corridor.
In 1908 a south-westerly branch was opened from the Jericho station on the Central Railway. It passed through Blackall and in 1914 through the south of the former Isisford shire, ending at Yaraka. The line brought livestock to the Rockhampton market, serving until 2005.
Longreach Regional Council's dominant livestock industry is sheep and wool. Employment in agriculture in 2001 in the former shires was:
|Shire||Employee Nos||% of Total Employment|
Longreach shire also had 17% employed in wholesale and retail distribution, 9% in education, 9% in health and community services, and 6% in accommodation and hospitality.
Longreach Regional Council's census population was 4054 (2006).
Ilfracombe, Isisford and Longreach Shires entries