Fraser Coast Regional Council was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Hervey Bay City, Maryborough City, Woocoo Shire and the northern part (70%) of Tiaro Shire. The name came into common use in the early 1990s from a combination of Fraser Island and Cooloola Coast. For the origins of those names, see the entries on Fraser Island and Cooloola Shire.

Before amalgamation, the supervision of Fraser Island was divided between Maryborough (the southern part) and Hervey Bay City. The amalgamated council thus comprises the island, the former Tiaro Shire's northern sector which reached inland from Tin Can Inlet for about 60 km, the former Woocoo Shire which extended south-west from Maryborough to the Burnett Range, urban Maryborough, and Hervey Bay City which extended from Burrum Heads to the Mary River. Their areas and populations were:

(sq km)


2006 prior to amalgamation

Hervey Bay City*235652,218
Maryborough City*123425,705
Woocoo Shire20063442
Tiaro Shire (part)1529~3200
Totals7125Estimated 85,000
* Includes half of Fraser Island.

Maryborough was a convenient point of entry for supplies to the Gympie gold field (1867), and the two were connected by railway in 1881. Ten years later that line was completed from Brisbane to Bundaberg. Maryborough's hinterland included the Burrum coalfields, which fuelled both steam rail and manufacturing. A western railway to Biggenden opened in 1891, later extended in stages to Gayndah and Monto. A short line to the beachfront villages of Torquay and Urangan was completed by 1913.

Apart from railways and manufacturing, Maryborough had a strong sugar industry and was the centre of a chain of dairy factories in towns as far afield as Kingaroy and Mundubbera.

All the railway lines continue, except the one to Urangan which was cut back to Takura in 1994. The limited industrial base and rides to the beach were not enough to keep the line open, but the beachfront climate had provoked a spectacular change from rural acres to urban subdivisions. Rural Burrum Shire (8400 people in 1976) went from being a shire to Hervey Bay City, and more than doubled its population between 1986 and 2001.

Fraser Coast Regional Council's census populations have been:

census datepopulation


Fraser Island, Hervey Bay City, Maryborough and Woocoo Shire entries

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