The Maranoa Regional Council area is located in south-west Queensland, about 480 kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD. The Maranoa Regional Council area is bounded by the Central Highlands Regional Council area in the north, the Western Downs Regional Council area in the east, Balonne Shire in the south, and Paroo Shire and Murweh Shire in the west.
The Maranoa Regional Council area includes the localities of Amby, Baffle West, Ballaroo, Bargunyah, Begonia, Beilba, Bindebango, Blythdale, Bungeworgorai, Bungil, Bymount, Cornwall, Dargal Road, Dunkeld, Durham Downs, Eumamurrin, Eurella, Euthulla, Forestvale, Glenmorgan (part), Gunnewin, Highland Plains, Hodgson, Hutton Creek, Injune, Jackson, Jackson North, Jackson South, Kilmorey Falls, Mitchell, Mooga, Mount Abundance, Mount Bindango, Mount Howe, Mount Hutton, Mount Moffatt, Muckadilla, Mungallala, Mungallala South, Noorindoo, Oberina, Orallo, Orange Hill, Parknook, Pickanjinnie, Pony Hills, Redford (part), Roma, Simmie, Surat, Teelba, Tingun, Tyrconnel (part), Upper Dawson, V Gate, Walhallow, Wallumbilla, Wallumbilla North, Wallumbilla South, Warkon, Wellesley, Weribone, Westgrove, Womalilla, Womblebank, Wycombe, Yuleba, Yuleba North and Yuleba South.
The Maranoa Regional Council area is predominantly rural, with several small townships. The main township is Roma, with smaller townships at Amby, Injune, Jackson, Mitchell, Mungallala, Surat, Wallumbilla and Yuleba. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 58,820 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly sheep and cattle grazing and grain and cereal crop growing), timber production, mining and gas production.
Maranoa Regional Council is named after the Maranoa River, which was thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "duck egg". It was previously known as Roma Regional Council.
The original inhabitants of the Maranoa Regional Council area were the Mandandanji and Gunggari Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the late 1840s, with land used mainly for grazing. Growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s as small townships were established, aided by the opening of the western railway line in the 1880s and the establishment of gas mining. The population increased in the post-war years, and then declined slightly during the 1960s and 1970s. The population was relatively stable during the 1980s at about 13,000 people, falling marginally to about 12,600 in 1991, and then to 12,200 in 1996. The population was relatively stable between 1996 and 2001. Gradual growth took place during the early 2000s, with the population increasing to about 14,000 in 2011, largely due to expansion in coal seam gas exploration and mining. The population was relatively stable from 2011.
Major features of the Maranoa Regional Council area include Carnarvon National Park, Chesterton Range National Park, Expedition National Park, Thrushton National Park, Roma Saleyards, The Big Rig, Cobb & Co Changing Station, Booringa Heritage Museum, Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, Romavilla Winery, Judds Lagoon, Mount Moffatt, Bassett Park, Roma Bush Gardens, Surat Aboriginal Bush Gardens, Roma Hospital, Roma Golf Club, the Roma township, TAFE Queensland South West (Roma Campus), various mines and oil fields and numerous state forests.
The Maranoa Regional Council area is served by the Carnarvon Highway, the Warrego Highway, the Westlander train and Roma Airport.
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