Townsville (Regional) City Council, an area of 3733 sq km, was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Townsville and Thuringowa Cities. Its coastal boundary extends from the mouth of the Houghton River to Paluma, half way between Townsville and Ingham.
Townsville borough, with an area of 3.25 sq miles, was created in 1866 and the Thuringowa local government division was formed in 1879. It had an area of 2940 sq miles and entirely surrounded Townsville's land boundary. A large part in the east of Thuringowa was excised to form Burdekin local government division in 1888.
Between 1903 and 1964 small parts of urbanised Thuringowa were severed and added to Townsville. The process was reactive, and by the 1980s fell behind the march of urban growth. Thuringowa was made a city in 1986 as a cluster of new suburbs such as Kirwan and Rasmussen spread along the west side of the Ross River.
In 1994 all of Thuringowa City east of the Ross River was severed, most going to Townsville City and a small part to Burdekin Shire. The land around Reid River went to Dalrymple Shire. Thuringowa City was about a quarter of its area of 1879. Even so, by the mid-2000s its population was about 60,000, around two-thirds of Townsville's.
There were several similarities between Thuringowa and Townsville in the 2006 census. Median incomes per week differed by only a few dollars and the leading employment areas were:
|Townsville||defence, school education, hospitals|
|Thuringowa||school education, defence, hospitals|
Townsville also had 2.6% of its workforce in tertiary education, bringing total employment in education to 7.4% of the workforce. Thuringowa, with its high proportion of recent suburbs, had a median age of 31 years for its residents, compared with 34 for Townsville.
Thuringowa City had a mayor and 10 councillors and Townsville City a mayor and 11 councillors. The amalgamated Townsville (Regional) City has a mayor and 12 councillors. The name Thuringowa has disappeared from the municipal lexicon, surviving only in the suburb of Thuringowa Central. Thuringowa's former mayor, however, won the mayoral context in 2008.
Based on the 2006 census, the amalgamated city had a population of about 155,000.
Thuringowa and Townsville entries