Urban Growth

During the 1960s, the rural nature of the Shire began to change rapidly as sustained residential development commenced. The changing character of the area was particularly evident along Gympie Road where a ribbon of scattered houses and assorted businesses evolved into the Shires major business district, and in the Hills District (Ferny Hills, Arana Hills and Everton Hills), where the first suburban lots had been sold in the late 1950s. Around 1960, the first residential subdivision also took place in the Albany Creek area.

By the early 1970s, the Shire's population had exceeded 25,000 and the main industrial area at Brendale had been established. Further rapid residential development accelerated during the 1970s.

During this period, the North Pine Dam was also built to supply water to the City of Brisbane and the Shires of Pine Rivers, Redcliffe and Caboolture. The water body created by the Dam, which was opened in 1976, was named Lake Samsonvale in recognition of the historic property, a substantial part of which is now inundated.

The urban expansion of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (from a population of only 8,760 at the 1961 Census, climbing to 13,309 in 1966, 26,187 in 1971, 45,192 in 1976 and 62,575 in 1981) dramatically changed the economic character of the Shire; the rural economy diminished in relative importance as the region became a dormitory suburban area for a workforce employed predominantly in Brisbane.

With the expansion of industrial and commercial development at Brendale, Strathpine and Lawnton, however, opportunities for local employment increased and the Shire's economic base became more diversified. Retailing expanded rapidly in the area, culminating in the development of the Westfield Strathpine shopping centre which was opened in 1983.

The population reached 140,000 during late 2004 and a total approaching 200,000 is expected by 2021. This relentless pace of expansion is bringing particular challenges and costs, but it is also leading to an influx of energetic people determined to see the growing Shire retain its unique characteristics as a place where people can live and prosper in a pleasant, family oriented community and retain contact with the natural environment.