Under the provisions of the "Local Authorities Act of 1902", an Order in Council dated 6 August 1903 altered the name of the Shire of Tabragalba to the Shire of Beaudesert. Part of the Shire became Beaudesert Town on 23 Nov 1912 but reverted to the Shire on 14 Sep 1929. Tamborine and Waterford Shires were abolished in 1948 and amalgamated with Beaudesert and the new Beaudesert Shire began operation in 1949.
The functions and powers of Shire Councils under the consolidated and amended "Local Authorities Act 1902" included construction and maintenance of roads and streets, bridges, wharves and jetties and other public works, control of traffic, use of land and buildings for the provision of public services and amenities including fire stations, parks, libraries and other recreational, educational and civic facilities, pounds, cemeteries, dams, reservoirs and water supply infrastructure, gas and electricity works, street lighting, rubbish dumps, sewerage farms and disposal works. The "Local Authorities Acts Amendment Act 1923" provided increased powers to Councils in respect to roads, buildings and subdivisions which resulted in greater control of urban planning.
Councils were empowered to create by-laws with respect to all matters within their jurisdiction, but all such by-laws required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.
Shire Councils were also responsible for administering the Loan Fund and for carrying out valuations on properties for the purpose of collecting rates. Under the "Valuation of Land Act 1944" the Valuer-General became the sole valuation authority. In the 1970s Shire Councils ceased to distribute electricity. Other functions undertaken by Councils with other government instrumentalities have also ceased to be Council responsibilities including hospitals, fire brigades, ports and harbours, abattoirs and slaughterhouses,
Under the "Local Government Act 1993" Shire Councils 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.
Councils generate revenue from rates, grants and subsidies from state and federal governments, service charges, and loans for major projects.
Under the "Local Authorities Act 1902" Shire Councils consisted of elected aldermen with the Chairman elected by the aldermen to be the Mayor.The chief administrator was the Town Clerk and Councils were given the authority to appoint other officers necessary to carry out their duties. Under the "Local Authorities Amendment Act 1920" adult franchise replaced rate-payer eligibility to vote. Under the "Local Government Act 1993" Shire Councils consist of a mayor and at least 5 councillors. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions of the Council.
Following recommendations of the Local Government Reform Commission Report 2007 regarding the re-structuring of local government in Queensland, on 15 March 2008, the southern rural areas of the Beaudesert Shire including the town of Beaudesert, amalgamated with Boonah Shire and the Harrisville/Peak Crossing area from Ipswich City to form the Scenic Rim Region while the northern urban areas of Beaudesert Shire amalgamated with Logan City Council.