Albert Shire (1948-95) extended southwards from the Logan River to the state border of New South Wales, with the Beechmont-Tamborine ranges on its west. The eastern border was the Pacific Ocean from the Logan River to the Coomera River and thereafter the Gold Coast municipality.

During the shire's first years its eastern flank was unwanted flood-prone land, but the development of canal estates turned that flank into valuable urban property.

The shire was named after the Albert River, one of five flowing eastwards to the ocean (the others are the Logan, Pimpama, Coomera and Nerang Rivers). Albert River was named after Prince Albert (1819-61), the consort of Queen Victoria.

Formation of the Albert Shire was proposed in a report of a Royal Commission on local government boundaries in 1928, shortly after the municipal amalgamations for Greater Brisbane. The proposal was partly a response to two scarcely viable shires centred on Coomera and Waterford. They, along with Beenleigh and Nerang Shires, were amalgamated in 1948 into a new, predominantly rural, shire with an estimated population of 7261. During the 1960s the shire's population tripled as the Gold Coast canal estates were created, beginning with Florida Gardens and Miami Keys.

Brisbane's urban fringe extended to the northern part of the shire by the 1970s and the growing townships of Woodridge, Kingston and Springwood were sufficient to initiate a severance from Albert Shire to form Logan City in 1979. Even so, the shire regained its 1976 population of 72,000 within about eight years, a clear indication that Brisbane's suburban fringe was spilling into the shire's (back of the Gold Coast) hinterland: Coomera, Nerang, Mudgeeraba and Currumbin Valley were important examples. Quite soon the Gold Coast council realised that its narrow tourist strip boundary from Broadbeach to Coolangatta (avoiding the once unwanted swamps) was unwise.

During the 1980s Albert Shire was Australia's fastest growing urban area as new suburbs such as Bethania, Carbrook, Edens Landing and Molendinar arose from villages or broad-acre subdivisions. However, as Mermaid Waters grew at the back of Mermaid Beach, merging with Albert Shire's satellite town of Robina, all the urban sprawl looked to be of a piece. Pressure from Gold Coast council for amalgamation became irresistible, and Albert Shire was united with it in 1995. The new Gold Coast municipal offices were moved to Nerang.

Albert Shire's census populations were:

Census Date Population
1954 8714
1971 29,360
1976 72,062
1986 *92,766
1991 143,697
* After the loss of Logan City.

Michael Jones, Country of five rivers: Albert Shire 1788-1988, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1988


Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2018. All rights reserved.

UQ Logo