The Fraser Coast Regional Council was formed on 15 March, 2008, through the amalgamation of Maryborough and Hervey Bay City Councils, Woocoo Shire and Division 1 and 2 of Tiaro Shire.
Early history of the region
The indigenous Butchulla people are the traditional owners of the Fraser Coast region.
Captain James Cook first sighted the Fraser Coast area in 1770. Rounding Sandy Cape, and initially believing Fraser Island was joined to the mainland, Cook proclaimed the area 'Hervey's Bay' after Augustus Hervey, Lord of the Admiralty. Matthew Flinders landed at Sandy Cape in 1802 and is responsible for mapping much of the area.
The region owes much of its character and history to the Mary River. It was in 1842 that the Mary River first drew European settlers to the region with the allure of rich alluvial soil and a deep, natural harbour.
The first township on the Fraser Coast was established at Maryborough in 1847, with the town quickly becaming a thriving, bustling river port for the export of wool, cotton, timber, sugar – and then gold.
Sheep farming began in the Woocoo area in 1849 and Tiaro was settled in 1853, with the town developing into the centre of the agricultural district. The first permanent European settlement at Hervey Bay was in 1863 when Boyle Martin introduced sugar farming to the area. Hervey Bay became a favorite holiday destination for residents of the region and a number of villages (Point Vernon, Pialba, Scarness, Torquay and Urangan) were established along the coastline.
Maryborough Town Council was formed in 1861 and was proclaimed the Maryborough City Council in 1905. Tiaro was declared a municipality in 1879 and Woocoo was proclaimed a shire in 1914. Local government in Hervey Bay began with the Pialba Shire Council in 1902, later becoming the Burrum Shire Council in 1917. In 1976, the shire of Hervey Bay was created, and Hervey Bay was formally gazetted a city in 1984.
Click on the links below to discover more about the impressive history of the region.