Banana Shire has a rich history and a strong future built on the back of grazing and cropping agricultural enterprises and the continuing expansion and development of mining, gas, manufacturing industries and niche businesses. The Shire supports a total of 2559 registered businesses.
Banana Shire is situated in Central Queensland, Australia and covers 28,610 square kilometres with a sparsely spread population of 14,513 people. Our main town of Biloela is 120 km west of Gladstone and an easy drive to the city of Rockhampton.
The Shire has rail and road links to both of these cities and is serviced by the Leichhardt, Dawson and Burnett Highways. Direct flights to the Shire from Brisbane arrive at Thangool Aerodrome.
The region opened in 1853 when sheep stations were established in the region and the township of Banana appeared in 1881 with a population of 122 people.
Today sheep have been replaced by a wide variety of beef cattle breeds, open country has been cultivated to produce wheat, sorghum and legume crops while the flood plains along the Dawson River produce fertile ground and easy access to irrigation for cotton.
Coal was first discovered in 1860, but not mined until the 1920s when the underground mine at Baralaba opened. Coal deposits in the Callide Basin near Biloela were opened up in 1945 and in the Bowen Basin near Moura in 1950. Over the years gold was discovered and mined at Cracow, coal seam gas wells put down in the Dawson Valley. All of the above mining activities are still operation to this day.
Meat processing facilities and power generating plants established at Biloela – all supplementing the contribution of the agricultural sector to the local economy.
Several speciality enterprises have also prospered in our region including:
- A herbs and spices farm.
- Squab (pigeon meat) facility
- A Mungbean processing facility
- A pilot leaf processing facility
- An ammonium nitrate manufacturing plant
Most of those businesses are selling to national and international markets.
Banana Shire provides a variety of recreation, employment, education and lifestyle options.
The Shire has a number of childcare facilities, nine public primary schools, three public P10 schools, two state high schools, one private primary school, and an Engineering Skills Training Centre. There are also five public hospitals, chiropractor services, disability support service providers and aged care providers.
In addition to that, our area is home to over 390 community and sporting groups.
POPULATION AND BY TOWN INFORMATION
Most of our population lives within the mix of larger towns and rural villages.
The main population centre is the town of Biloela, with Moura and Taroom being other significant urban centres in the Shire. Banana, Baralaba, Dululu, Goovigen, Jambin, Thangool, Theodore, Wowan and Cracow comprise the remaining towns of the Shire.
Biloela is the largest community, with a population of 5,694 and is home to the Council’s administration centre. It is the dormitory town for the Callide Power Station, Callide Coal Mine and Teys Bros Meatworks and is the main service centre for the Callide Valley boasting a collection of retail, industrial and service businesses.
Moura has a population of 1,843 and serves the mining and rural industries of the area. It is the home of the Dawson Coal Mine and the second largest grain depot in Queensland. Also located adjacent to Moura is the Queensland Cotton processing gin, Queensland Nitrates ammonium nitrate manufacturing plant and significant gas resources.
Taroom has a population of 578 and is richly endowed with natural attractions, a thriving rural sector and a range of quality community and business facilities.
Theodore, with a population of 451, supports a diverse rural community with its main industries being cotton growing, cereals, fodder production and saw milling.