The Somerset region is an hour west of Brisbane and is bordered by the regions of the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich and Brisbane. It provides a gateway to and from greater Queensland with linkages through the South Burnett and the Darling Downs and is the fastest growing local government area in South East Queensland.
The region includes the towns of Esk, Kilcoy, Lowood, Fernvale and Toogoolawah and features 40 protected areas including national parks, state forests and forest reserves, as well as 11 nature reserves, which form a vital part of the region’s environmental assets.
The region also includes major water resources and recreational assets such as Lakes Wivenhoe and Somerset Dam.
Twenty-three percent of Somerset is identified as good quality agricultural land and rural production is a vital industry within the region, while manufacturing is the largest employer with 14.5 percent of the region’s labour force employed in the industry.
The region has strong agricultural, environmental, heritage and tourism values. It contains important vegetation and forest, areas of high scenic and landscape amenity and significantly, the key water catchments for South East Queensland.