RDA Darling Downs and South West Region
About the area
ABS ERP 2017
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Quilpie Shire is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “curlew”.
Location and boundaries
Quilpie Shire is located in south-west Queensland, about 1,000 kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD. Quilpie Shire is bounded by the Longreach Regional Council area and the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council area in the north, Murweh Shire in the east, Paroo Shire and Bulloo Shire in the south, and Barcoo Shire in the west.
Quilpie Shire includes the localities of Adavale, Eromanga and Quilpie.
Quilpie Shire is a predominantly rural area, with a small township at Quilpie. The Shire encompasses a total land area of nearly 68,000 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for agriculture, particularly sheep and cattle grazing, with opal, oil and gas mining also being important industries.
European settlement dates from the 1860s, with land used mainly for pastoral purposes. Population was minimal until the late 1800s, with growth mainly in the township of Adavale, spurred by opal mining. The township of Quilpie developed during the early 1900s, then becoming the main service centre of the Shire, aided by the opening of the railway line in 1917. The population of the Shire rose from about 1,400 in 1911 to about 2,000 in 1933. From the 1960s oil and gas exploration and mining took place in Eromanga. The population declined from the 1960s, falling from about 2,400 in 1961 to about 1,700 in 1971, and then to about 1,400 in 1981. The population continued to decline from the 1990s, falling to under 1,200 in 2011, largely due to a decline in dwelling occupancy rates.
The original inhabitants of Quilpie Shire were the Bunthamurra and Mardgany Aboriginal people.