Shire of Burdekin

The Shire of Burdekin is a local government area located in North Queensland, Australia in the Dry Tropics region. The district is located between Townsville and Bowen in the delta of the Burdekin River.

Shire of Burdekin
Location within Queensland
Population17,077 (2018)[1]
 • Density3.3856/km2 (8.7687/sq mi)
Area5,044 km2 (1,947.5 sq mi)[1]
MayorLyn McLaughlin
Council seatAyr
RegionNorth Queensland
State electorate(s)Burdekin
Federal division(s)Dawson, Kennedy
WebsiteShire of Burdekin
LGAs around Shire of Burdekin:
City of Townsville Coral Sea Coral Sea
City of Townsville Shire of Burdekin Coral Sea
Charters Towers Charters Towers Whitsunday

It covers an area of 5,044 square kilometres (1,947.5 sq mi), and has existed as a local government entity since 1888.


Yuru (also known as Juru, Euronbba, Juru, Mal Mal, Malmal) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken on Yuru country. The Yuru language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Shire of Burdekin, including the town of Home Hill.[2]

Map of Ayr Division and its adjacent local government areas, March 1902

On 16 January 1888, the Ayr Division was created out of Subdivision 3 of the Thuringowa Division in 1888 under the Divisional Boards Act 1887.[3]

With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, Ayr Division became the Shire of Ayr on 31 March 1903.[4]

On 12 June 1982, the Shire of Ayr was renamed the Shire of Burdekin, a change long desired by the residents of Home Hill.[4][5]

Council members were elected to represent different divisions within the shire until the election of March 1994 at which all council members are elected by all shire residents. The title of Mayor replaced the former title of Shire Chairman and the title of Shire Clerk was replaced by Chief Executive Officer from that same election.[5]

New shire chambers were opened on 9 October 1999. The cost was $2.8 million.[5]

From 2000, council elections were held every four years to elect a mayor and ten councillors. From 2008, this was reduced to a mayor and six councillors.[5]


The public library headquarters of the Burdekin Shire Council Library Services is located at 108 Graham Street, Ayr.[6] The Burdekin Shire also operate a public library in Home Hill at 77-79 Ninth Avenue.[7] Both libraries opened in 1984.[8]

Towns and localities

The Shire of Burdekin includes the following settlements:


Year Population

Chairmen and mayors

Dates Chairman / Mayors Notes
1896 James Henry Rae [9]
1888 Charles Young [10]
1896 J. H. Rae [11]
1927 Herbert Barsby [12]
1952-1970 E.W. Ford [5]
1970-1976 R. W. Rossiter [5]
1976-1982 F.J. Mills [5]
1982-1991 J.W. Trace [5]
1991-1994 E.N. Honeycombe [5]
1994-2004 John F. Woods First to use the title "Mayor"[5][13]
2004-2012 Lynette Angela (Lyn) McLaughlin [5][14]
2012-2016 William Charles (Bill) Lowis [5]
2016–present Lynette Angela (Lyn) McLaughlin [15][16]


  1. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Local Government Area (ASGS 2018), 2017 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. This Wikipedia article incorporates CC-BY-4.0 licensed text from: "Yuru". Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  3. "Proclamation [Ayr Division]". Queensland Government Gazette. 21 January 1888. p. 43:170.
  4. "Agency ID 6068, Burdekin Shire Council". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  5. Scott, Laura A; Lower Burdekin Historical Society (2014), Mastering the dream : Home Hill : jubilee to centenary, Home Hill, Q The Lower Burdekin Historical Society Inc, ISBN 978-0-9871987-1-6
  6. "Burdekin Library Directory of Public Libraries". Public Libraries Connect. 26 July 2017. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  7. "Home Hill Library Directory of Public Libraries". Public Libraries Connect. 28 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  8. "Queensland Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-2017" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. November 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  9. Consolidated Index to Queensland Government Gazette 1859-1919. Queensland Family History Society. 2004. ISBN 1-876613-79-3.
  10. "History of the Burdekin - Burdekin Shire Council". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  11. "Queensland Government Gazette consolidated index 1859-1919 - Details - Trove". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  12. Pugh, Theophilus Parsons (1927). Pugh's Almanac for 1927. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  13. "Former councillor ousts Burdekin mayor". ABC News. 27 March 2004. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  14. "Mayor Candidate Profile : 2012 Burdekin Shire - Mayoral Election". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  15. "2016 Burdekin Shire Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 19 April 2016. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  16. "2020 Local Government Elections: Saturday, 28 March 2020". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.

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