A tapestry of culture and creativity
The Southern Downs Region began as five separate entities: the City of Warwick and the Shires of Allora, Glengallan, Rosenthal and Stanthorpe.
The City of Warwick came into being as the Warwick Municipality on 25 May 1861 under the Municipalities Act 1858, a piece of New South Wales legislation inherited by Queensland at its separation two years earlier.
On 21 July 1869, the Municipality of Allora was established under the Municipal Institutions Act 1864.
On 11 November 1879, the Clifton, Glengallan, Stanthorpe and Ballandean Divisions were created as part of 74 divisions within Queensland under the Divisional Boards Act 1879. On 23 June 1880 Ballandean Division became part of the Stanthorpe Division. The first meeting of the Council of the Shire Of Stanthorpe was held in April 1903. In 1886, Rosenthal was created out of parts of Glengallan.
With the passage of the Local Authorities Act 1902, Warwick and Allora became Towns and the four Divisions became Shires.
On 23 January 1915, the Town of Allora was abolished and a new Shire of Allora was created from the southern part of the Shire of Clifton.
On 4 April 1936, Warwick was proclaimed as a City.
On 21 November 1991, the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission, created two years earlier, produced its second report, and recommended that local government boundaries in the Warwick area be rationalised. The Local Government (Allora, Glengallan, Rosenthal and Warwick) Regulation 1994 was gazetted on 20 May 1994. On 25 June, an election was held for the new Shire of Warwick, and on 1 July 1994, the original entities passed out of existence. Stanthorpe was unaffected by these changes.
In July 2007, the Local Government Reform Commission released its report and recommended that Warwick and Stanthorpe amalgamate. It noted that Warwick was the regional centre for the region, with the maximum travelling time between Warwick and any other town being one hour. Both councils opposed the amalgamation citing cultural differences and different river catchment areas and economic drivers. On 15 March 2008, the two Shires formally ceased to exist, and elections were held on the same day to elect eight councillors and a mayor to the Regional Council.
Today, Southern Downs is home to a rich tapestry of culture and creativity. Out Southern Downs is alive with possibility.