Following recommendations of the Local Government Reform Commission Report 2007 regarding the re-structuring of local government in Queensland, 115 local governments were abolished and new local governments established while nine others had their boundaries adjusted. Elections for the new or existing shire and city Councils and the new class of regional Councils were held on 15 March 2008.
Bauhinia, Emerald, Peak Downs and Duaringa Shires amalgamated to form the new Central Highlands Region.
Local Government Councils under the "Local Government Act 1993" and subsequent "Local Government Act 2009" and through local laws: promote economic development; own and manage public infrastructure including roads and public works, sewerage, and water storage and distribution; regulate activities which affect the environment including air, noise and water quality, land use and waste disposal, pests and noxious weeds, and building control; provide community services including recreational and cultural facilities and public health services.
Under the "Local Government Act 2009". local governments have " the power to do anything that is necessary or convenient for the good rule and local government of its local government area" including conduct joint government activities, engage in business enterprises. construct and maintain roads and other infrastructure. Indigenous Councils which are also Trustee Councils are responsible for business related to trust land while Community Forums may be established to discuss community issues.
Councils generate revenue from rates, service charges, grants and subsidies from state and federal governments, and loans for major projects.
The Central Highlands Region is undivided and the Council is comprised of 9 councillors including the mayor.