Banana Shire is located in Central Queensland Australia and covers 28,577 square kilometres with a sparsely spread population of 14,319 people. The Shire sits 120km west of Gladstone and 1.5 hour drive to the city of Rockhampton. It has rail and road links to both cities and is serviced by the Leichhardt, Dawson and Burnett Highways. Direct flights to the Shire from Brisbane arrive at Thangool Aerodrome.
With its magnificent gorges and sandstone vistas of the Isla Gorge and Expedition National Park, Banana Shire provides a variety of recreation, employment, education and lifestyle opportunities.
The major industrial activities contributing to the economy of the Banana Shire include; power generation, mining, nitrate production, agriculture, crop production and gold mining.
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. The majority of the population live within the mix of the larger towns and rural villages that service the agricultural and resource sectors.
banana shire council priority projects
Banana Shire provides a variety of recreation, employment, education and lifestyle options. Sport and recreation play a major role in the lifestyle of Banana Shire residents with over 390 community and sporting groups to choose from. Numerous natural and man-made attractions make Banana Shire region an ideal lifestyle choice.
At the heart of the Banana Shire lies the Dawson River. The Dawson gives life to the community with farming opportunities and recreational hotspots. Freshwater fishing is a popular past time for locals and visitors to the region with an array of fishing hot spots including Callide Dam and the Dawson River.
Kroombit Tops, Expedition National Park and Isla Gorge National Parks and established recreational waterways and lakes provide for those seeking an active lifestyle or wanting to get close to nature with camping and 4wd driving popular pursuits.
Banana Shire supports nine public primary schools, three P10-schools, two state high schools, one private primary school and one private P-12 school.
Some 7,731 persons were recorded as being in the labour force. Of these 67.9% were employed full time, 22.6% were employed part-time and 2.6% were unemployed.
Agriculture (17.2%), Coal Mining (15.1%), Education (5.7%), Food Product Manufacturing (4.8%) and Public Administration (3.9%) are the five top industries of employment in the Banana Shire.
Major employers include the Biloela Teys Brothers Meat Processing Facility, Callide Power Station (Biloela), Queensland Nitrate Plant (Moura), Education Queensland and the Banana Shire Council.
Strong agricultural and mining sectors combine to provide specialisations in manufacturing, technician and trades workers and machinery operator occupations.
Local retail and professional services prosper with sustained employment supporting respective towns and rural areas and dominant agriculture and mining industries.
The median total family income for the Shire is approximately $85,592 with the total personal income estimated at $33,000 per year.
Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2011, Basic Community Profile – B44
Beef Cattle Farming
Local Government Administration
Fossil Fuel Electricity Generation
Technicians and Trade Workers
Machinery Operators and Drivers
Clerical and Administrative Workers
Community and Personal Service Workers
The town of Biloela (pop. 5371) is the main population and administration centre in the Shire and the dormitory town for 3 Callide power stations, Callide Coal Mine and Teys Meatworks and is the service centre for the Callide Valley.
Moura has the second largest wheat dump in Queensland and is the location for the Queensland Cotton Gin, Queensland Ammonium Nitrate Plant and Dawson Coal Mine.
Taroom is richly endowed with natural attractions, a thriving rural sector and a wide range of quality community and business facilities.
Theodore supports a diverse rural sector with its main industry being cotton. Almost 80 percent of the Shire’s cotton is grown in the Dawson Valley Area.
Banana Shire is strategically located on the Brisbane & Melbourne freight route via the Burnett and Leichhardt Highways and is connected to the port city of Gladstone via the Dawson Highway and to Brisbane via the Burnett Highway and through regular commercial air services at Thangool Aeorodrome.
The Moura Rail System connects the Moura, Callide and Boundary Hill coal mines to Central Queensland Port Authority in Gladstone and to domestic coal users.
The Banana Shire offers a diverse range of appealing urban, rural residential and small scale village living options.
Biloela, Moura and Taroom accommodate the majority of the Shires traditional residential and new housing. Opportunities for retirement living and higher density housing are available within each town.
The townships of Baralaba, Cracow, Dululu, Goovigen, Jambin, Thangool, Theodore and Wowan exhibit unique housing in small scale village settings.
A variety of serviced and partially serviced rural residential land is also available in each town.
Median rents range from $280 per week for a 2 bedroom unit and $330 per week for a 3 bedroom house. Median house prices in Biloela were $258,000 in 2021 with the balance of the Shire recording a median house price of 265,000.
Non-resident workforce accommodation has generally been confined to mine / construction sites outside urban areas or in discrete locations near towns and villages. This has kept housing and rental prices stable.
Health Services and Aged Care
Banana Shire is serviced by six hospitals including Biloela Hospital, Moura Multipurpose Health Service, Theodore Multipurpose Health Service, Taroom Hospital. Baralaba Multipurpose Health Service and Wowan/Dululu Multi-Purpose Centre. Private practices exist throughout the district along with Medical Centres.
There are six aged care facilities in the Banana Shire including Wahroonga Retirement Village – Biloela, Dawson View Hostel – Theodore, Theodore Retirement Village, Baralaba Community Aged Care, Moura Retirement Village, Southern Cross – Leichhardt Villa Retirement Village Taroom. Banana Shire also runs Blue Care and Anglicare services to its residents.
Banana Shire is serviced by Queensland Police Service facilities, Queensland Ambulance Services, State Emergency Services, Queensland Fire and Rescue Services and rural fire brigade services.
In addition to an abundance of attractions, the Banana Shire hosts a range of events held throughout the year. Events such as country horse racing, freshwater fishing classics, markets and festivals celebrating individual community histories and cultures make the destination come alive with activity.
Biloela is host to the Annual Old Wheels in Motion Rally and Swap Meet on the third weekend in July each year at the QLD Heritage Park complex.
Moura’s annual Coal and Country Festival is held on the fourth Saturday in August, with a Street Procession, Coal Shoveling and Roof Bolting Championships, Rodeo and numerous other events, highlighting the town and district’s diverse attractions.
Dawson River Festival Dawson River Towns (Baralaba, Moura, Theodore and Taroom) combine to present the Dawson River Festival. Each town hosts an event on the Dawson River on one weekend of the year.
Baralaba, Moura and Theodore each host annual fishing classics with significant patronage and plentiful catches.
The Thangool Cup held annually at ‘Forde Park’ in September draws a huge crowd for a day of country horse.