About WDRC

What is Western Downs Regional Council?

Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC) is at the forefront of the changing world and works to support our growing region, with our Corporate Plan underpinned by progress, people, place, and performance. 

We are a sustainable organisation delivering modern and quality essential services to around 35,000 residents. We manage Australia's second largest road network of over 10,000 km, an extensive water, gas, and sewage network, and one of Australia’s largest cattle saleyards. We also ensure our residents enjoy an active, vibrant community offering a comprehensive program of services, events and activities that also support a quality lifestyle. 

WDRC is made up of people who have diverse backgrounds nd are the people that make our region unique and dedicated to making a real difference in the community. We are committed to achieving meaningful communications and community engagement and are dedicated to providing a strong, regional voice for our community by advocating on their behalf about the issues that matter most to them.

What is the role and structure of Council?

Australia has three levels of government; local, state and federal. Each level of government has a centralised body of democratically elected representatives, in local government these representatives are known as Councillors or a 'council'.

Your Councillors listen to the needs of their community and residents and advocate for community programs and services for residents. Council holds regular council meetings to participate in decision making processes which drive the projects for the region. 

The organisation known as Western Downs Regional Council is the corporate or administrative structure which is set by Council and is responsible to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who reports directly to the Council.

Local Councils are empowered under the Local Government Act 2009 to create and enforce local laws and manage specific services for their residents, including: 

  • Local roads and infrastructure 

  • Maintenance of parks 

  • Water and sewerage 

  • Waste Collection 

  • Animal management 

  • Town planning 

  • Local laws for advertising signage, food businesses, large community events, etc. 

  • Community facilities 

What is the structure of Council's Executive Team?

WDRC Executive Team

Western Downs Executive - CEO Jodie Taylor.jpg

     Executive Services

     Jodie Taylor | Chief Executive Officer


Jodie Taylor has more than 25 years of experience in local government and has worked for Western Downs Regional Council for the past 15 years.

Jodie has been the General Manager for Community and Liveability for the past six years and was officially appointed CEO of Western Downs Regional Council in December 2021.

Jodie is committed to using her knowledge of the region to achieve great outcomes for the community by delivering on Councils’ strategic priorities under its Corporate Plan.

She is focused on using her experience in local government and strengths in driving economic development to support the continued growth and diversity of the region.

Western Downs Executive - General Manager Daniel Fletcher.jpg

     Community and Liveability

     Daniel Fletcher | General Manager


Daniel brings over 15 years of private and public sector experience to the role including almost a decade of local government experience.

Daniel is passionate about community engagement and capacity building. He is committed to delivering Council’s strategic priorities through the annual Operational Plan objectives while meaningfully engaging with the community to build green, clean, and sustainable communities.

Daniel has served as Director (2020-22) on the National Board of the Local Government Professional Association. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), an Australian Certified Economic Development Practitioner (ACEcD), he also holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Criminology & Criminal Justice and is completing his Masters in Local Government with University Technology Sydney.


Western Downs Executive - General Manager Brett Bacon.jpg

     Corporate Services

     Brett Bacon | General Manager


A lateral thinker, Brett enjoys exploring possibilities and testing conventional wisdom. He is motivated by working on the business and creating an environment where people can experiment, innovate, challenge accepted practices, and ultimately realise their potential.

Brett has a comprehensive understanding of Queensland local government and how to introduce and manage change and develop individuals and teams within that environment. He applies a strong community and customer focus to everything he does and expects the same from his teams.

Prior to joining Western Downs Regional Council, Brett worked for various local governments within Queensland and Tasmania. This practical experience is underpinned with a degree in urban and regional planning and a Master of Business Administration.

When not working, Brett is generally found hidden behind a book or in a mist of sawdust in his shed.


Western Downs Executive - General Manager Graham Cook.jpg

     Infrastructure Services

     Graham Cook | General Manager


Graham Cook has over 36 years of experience in Local Government delivering services to the community.  He is a qualified Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland (RPEQ) and is a Fellow Member of Institute Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA).  In 2013, he was awarded Engineer of the Year from the Institute of Public Works Engineer Association, Queensland Division.

With a strong focus on Council’s strategic priorities, Graham aims to provide strategic leadership to the Infrastructure Services team to deliver sustainable infrastructure and services that support the diverse Western Downs region.

What is the floral emblem of the Western Downs?

Grevillea Robyn Gordon Flower The Grevillea Robyn Gordon is the official floral emblem of the Western Downs, endorsed by the Western Downs Regional Council since 2010 when the Floral Emblem Council Policy was originally adopted.

Use of the floral emblem

The Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ is presented to new citizens at Australian Citizenship ceremonies facilitated by Western Downs Regional Council. 

Background to Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ 

Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ has its origins in the region, and is one of the most popular native plants grown in Australia. It was the floral emblem for the former Tara Shire and was chosen as the floral emblem for the Year of the Outback (2006).

The hybrid Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' was developed at Myall Park Botanic Garden in the late 1950s and the original plant still grows there. 

How did Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ develop?

In the early 1950s many grevilleas were planted close together by Dave Gordon, in hope that a natural hybrid would feature the best characteristics of the parent species. After good rains in 1958, many seedlings appeared in the ground that had been recently cultivated. By 1963 one of these seedlings was 30 cm tall and featured promising foliage. Dave Gordon decided to stake and protect this seedling for further observation.

1968 was the year Robyn Gordon was diagnosed with cancer and her parents Dave and Dorothy, were informed that their eldest daughter was not expected to live. They decided to name the new cultivar after her. Robyn died during her 16th year.

Also in 1968 there was enough material for cuttings to be taken. Material for propagation was sent to Alex Scott, Birkdale Nursery, and to Sid Cadwell. All Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' plants now in nurseries and gardens around the world have been propagated from this material. ' Robyn' does not produce seed so tissue culture, cuttings and grafts are the only methods of propagation.