Until Charters Towers was gazetted a municipality in August 1878, local administration was the province of the Mining Warden and senior police officer, William Skelton Ewbank Melbourne Charters.

A checklist of mayors and councillors of the Charters Towers Municipal Council over the subsequent three decades reveals the dominance of mining's vested interests in local authority matters.

Council's responsibilities, aside from roads, drainage and building approvals, emphasised health and public amenities covering the needs of a prosperous mining community.

Dalrymple Shire Council was created under the Divisional Boards Act 1879 and the initial Board, nominated by the Divisional Returning Officer, who was also the Mining Warden, failed to gain a quorum at the inaugural meeting. The impasse was subsequently resolved when local businessman John Deane was voted to the chair. The urban segment dominated the finance committee; the rural segment the improvements committee. The dominance of business and mining over rural issues was entrenched when E.H.T. Plant, a mining magnate, became chairman in 1893, holding office for a decade.

As a member of the Royal Commission which consolidated local authority measures into the Local Government Act 1902, Plant successfully alienated Division One and created Queenton Shire. Within only a few hundred metres of Charters Towers Post Office, there were now three local government offices - Charters Towers Municipal Council, Queenton Shire Council and Dalrymple Shire Council. The arrangement persisted until December 1916.

As the mines closed and population dwindled, Charters Towers took over Queenton Shire in December 1916, expanding the city's boundaries to 42 square kilometres. Charters Towers slumbered for the next 50 years. It became a service centre for the pastoral industry, the city's economy relying heavily on its boarding schools and retirees. Improved communications and tourism sparked a revival from the late 1970s. Further economic stimulus was provided by the opening of mines to the east and south of the city, the expansion of the saleyards and other Dalrymple Shire projects.

On 17 April 2007, the Queensland Government announced a State-wide reform of Queensland's local government sector. An independent, seven-member Local Government Reform Commission was established under the "Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2007" to guide the local government reform process.  

On Friday 27 July 2007 the Local Government Reform Commission concluded its examination and provided its recommendations in the "Report of the Local Government Reform Commission - Volume 1" (PDF, 1.8mb).  The Queensland Government adopted the Commission's recommendations, which resulted in a decrease in the number of local governments from 157 to 73.  

As a result of this process, the Charters Towers City Council and Dalrymple Shire Council were amalgamated to form the Charters Towers Regional Council following local government elections on 15 March 2008.

At amalgamation, the population of Charters Towers City was approximately 9,000 persons. The population of Dalrymple Shire at amalgamation was approximately 3,500 persons, dispersed throughout an area of approximately 68,000 sq km. 

The last meeting of Charters Towers City Council was held on 12 March 2008.

The last meeting of Dalrymple Shire Council was held on 11 March 2008.

The first meeting of the Charters Towers Regional Council was held on 1 April 2008.