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Whitsunday Region
Whitsunday LGA Qld 2008.png
Location within Queensland
Aerial view of Proserpine, the service & administrative centre and ultimately gateway to the region by road, rail and air
Population 35,050 (2018)
 • Density 1.47151/km2 (3.8112/sq mi)
Established 2008
Area 23,819 km2 (9,196.6 sq mi)
Mayor Andrew Willcox
Council seat Proserpine
Region North Queensland
State electorate(s)
  • Whitsunday
  • Burdekin
Federal Division(s)
Whitsunday regional council logo.svg
Website Whitsunday Region
LGAs around Whitsunday Region:
Burdekin Coral Sea Coral Sea
Charters Towers Whitsunday Region Coral Sea
Isaac Isaac Mackay

The Whitsunday Region is a local government area located in North Queensland, Australia. Established in 2008, it was preceded by two previous local government areas with a history extending back to the establishment of regional local government in Queensland in 1879.

It has an estimated operating budget of A$48.8m.


Prior to 2008, the new Whitsunday Region was an entire area of two previous and distinct local government areas:

  • the Shire of Bowen;
  • and the Shire of Whitsunday.

The Bowen Municipality was constituted on 7 August 1863 under the Municipalities Act 1858 (a piece of New South Wales legislation inherited by Queensland at its separation four years earlier). On 11 November 1879, the Wangaratta Division was created as one of 74 divisions around Queensland under the Divisional Boards Act 1879. With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, Wangaratta became a shire and Bowen became a town on 31 March 1903.

On 19 January 1910, the Shire of Proserpine was excised from Wangaratta. With the growth of tourism in the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, it was renamed on 18 February 1989.

On 2 April 1960, the Town of Bowen was abolished, and merged into the Shire of Wangaratta, which was renamed Bowen.

In July 2007, the Local Government Reform Commission released its report and recommended that the two areas amalgamate. It believed that the merger would enhance the regional planning necessary to manage its part of the Reef and improve service delivery, quality of governance and economies of scale. Both councils opposed amalgamation, although amalgamation with each other was the preferred option of each if forced to choose. On 15 March 2008, the Shires formally ceased to exist, and elections were held on the same day to elect councillors and a mayor to the Regional Council.


The council is split into six divisions, each returning one councillor, plus a mayor.

Towns and localities

The Whitsunday Region includes the following settlements:


The populations given relate to the component entities prior to 2008. The next census, due in 2011, will be the first for the new Region.

Year Population
1933 11,477 7,543 3,934
1947 11,700 8,083 3,617
1954 13,094 8,518 4,576
1961 14,604 9,491 5,113
1966 15,616 9,342 6,274
1971 16,651 10,231 6,420
1976 19,038 11,292 7,746
1981 24,478 13,645 10,833
1986 25,945 14,364 11,581
1991 29,388 14,161 15,227
1996 31,202 14,411 16,791
2001 32,021 13,698 18,323
2006 36,158 14,625 21,533

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