Dalby Regional Council, an area of 38,039 sq km, was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Dalby Town, Chinchilla, Murilla, Tara and Wambo Shires, and the southern third of Taroom Shire. It's name was changed in August 2009 to Western Downs Regional Council.

Dalby is less than 15 km from the nearest point of the regional council's eastern border, and the council's area extends westwards 170 km, and even further in its north. The main railway line runs west from Dalby through Chinchilla and Miles, and there are branch lines radiating from Dalby to Glenmorgan, Jandowae and Bell (all in Dalby Regional Council's area). In addition there is a line from Miles to Wandoan (formerly in Taroom Shire). Dalby thus cemented its function as a hub of the western Darling Downs for the transport of livestock, cereals and cotton.

Dalby and its former surrounding shire (Wambo) were closest to the dividing range, fertile, and good for both pastoralism and closer-settlement cereal growing. Only small patches were troubled by prickly pear. Murilla and Tara Shires in the south-west had bad infestations, as did parts of Chinchilla Shire in the north. Taroom Shire in the north-west had both prickly pear and brigalow, and mechanised clearing in the postwar years brought prosperity to the rural economy.

Based on the census in 2006, the population of Dalby Regional Council was 30,018.

Western Downs Regional Council's census populations have been:

census datepopulation
201131,590
Further Reading: 

Chinchilla, Chinchilla Shire, Murilla Shire, Tara and Tara Shire, Taroom Shire, Wambo Shire, Dalby and Brigalow Belt entries