Settlement and federation
Timber was the principal industry of the area until the 1860's. The valuable red cedar, now very rare in the Shire, provided a good income for the timber getters. The massive logs were rafted down the Caboolture River to Deception Bay, from where they were taken by steamer to Brisbane.
Settlers also made good use of the valuable timber, using it wherever possible for houses, barns and even fence posts. The first Crown Land sold in the area was auctioned in 1864 for one Pound Sterling an acre.
Soon, the area had a thriving agricultural industry. The first major crop was sugar cane, and soon wheat, maize and Indian corn were being grown on the river flats. Vegetables were grown for local consumption.
After an early unsuccessful foray with a wool industry, damp-susceptible sheep were abandoned in favour of more hardy cattle.
Settlement in Caboolture was accelerated with the discovery of gold at Gympie. In 1868, the town was used as a stop-over point by the Cobb & Co coach service connecting Brisbane, Gympie and Maryborough. This function continued with the rail link established in 1888.
Local government came to the area on 11 November 1879 with the establishment of the Caboolture Divisional Board. In addition to the Caboolture Shire, the Board was responsible for parts of the areas that later became known as Redcliffe City and Caloundra City Councils as well as Pine Rivers, Kilcoy and Maroochy Shire Councils.
In 1888 Pine Divisional Board and Redcliffe Divisional Board became their own local government bodies, while Maroochy broke away in 1890 and Landsborough and Kilcoy in 1912. In 1902, under the Local Authorities Act, the body's name was changed to Caboolture Shire Council and achieved statutory recognition.
In March 2008, Caboolture Shire Council was amalgamated with the adjoining Councils of Redcliffe and Pine Rivers to create the Moreton Bay Regional Council. At amalgamation this Council covered 2,011 square kilometres with a population of 337,846 and was represented by a Mayor and 12 Divisional Councillors. The region's growth rate of four percent means the area is anticipated to be home to almost 490,000 people in 2026.
Today, as many of Queensland's smaller towns decline, Caboolture is experiencing rapid growth. While agriculture retains its importance, it is becoming increasingly urbanised. Several thousand new residents move to the Caboolture district every year, taking advantage of an abundance of affordable real estate and a superb, relaxed lifestyle.