Central Queensland

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Central Queensland
The Regions of Queensland
Population233,931 (2011 census) [1]
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Capricornia

Central Queensland is an ambiguous geographical division of Queensland (a state in Australia) that centres on the eastern coast, around the Tropic of Capricorn. Its major regional centre is Rockhampton. The region extends from the Capricorn Coast west to the Central Highlands at Emerald, north to the Mackay Regional Council southern boundary, and south to Gladstone. The region is also known as Capricornia. It is one of Australia's main coal exporting regions.

Geography The science that studies the terrestrial surface, the societies that inhabit it and the territories, landscapes, places or regions that form it

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

States and territories of Australia first-level subdivision of Australia

Government in the Commonwealth of Australia is exercised on three levels: federal, states and territories, and local government.


At the 2011 Australian Census the region recorded a total population from the six local government areas of 233,931. [1]


Gold processing plant at Mount Morgan, 1903 StateLibQld 2 232853 Processing plant of Mount Morgan Mines next to the Dee River.jpg
Gold processing plant at Mount Morgan, 1903

Economically, Central Queensland is an important centre of primary industries, particularly for food and fibre production. [2] Central Queensland includes the Bowen Basin which is rich in high quality coking coal, the Port of Gladstone produces 40% of the state's export earnings, the Fitzroy River is the second-largest river system in Australia and commands significant water resources such as Fairbairn Dam. Gladstone has a significant aluminium smelter.

Bowen Basin foreland sedimentary province in Australia

The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal-producing region contains one of the world's largest deposits of bituminous coal. The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queensland's first Governor, Sir George Bowen.

Port of Gladstone

The Port of Gladstone is Queensland's largest multi-commodity port and the fifth largest multi-commodity port in Australia. It is the world's fourth largest coal exporting terminal. It forms an integral part of the City of Gladstone in Central Queensland and is located about 525 kilometres (326 mi) north of Brisbane at Latitude of 23°49.61'S, Longitude 151°34.6’E. It is owned and managed by Gladstone Ports Corporation, which is a statutory corporate body of the Government of Queensland.

Fitzroy River (Queensland) river in Queensland, Australia

The Fitzroy River is a river located in Central Queensland, Australia. Its catchment covers an area of 142,665 square kilometres (55,083 sq mi), making it the largest river catchment flowing to the eastern coast of Australia.


Rockhampton is claimed to be the beef capital of Australia, a title which is disputed by Casino in New South Wales. [3] Beef production in the region is centered on Brigalow and speargrass land types. [4] There are three abattoirs in the region. [2] Every three years, Rockhampton holds the national Beef Australia exposition to celebrate the cattle industry as well as to facilitate trade opportunities for Australian beef producers. [5]

Casino, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Casino is a town in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia, with a population of 10,914 people at the 2016 census. It lies on the banks of the Richmond River and is situated at the junction of the Bruxner Highway and the Summerland Way.

Beef Australia is an international exposition held triennially in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. The week-long expo has been held in the city during the month of May every three years since the inaugural event in 1988. The event is promoted and used as an opportunity to facilitate international trade opportunities for those involved in the beef industry. However, it is also considered more generally as a celebration of the local beef industry in Central Queensland. In 2015, almost 90,000 people attended the event.


The Big Sapphire Ring, Sapphire, 2012 The Big Sapphire Ring.jpg
The Big Sapphire Ring, Sapphire, 2012

Central Queensland is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of black coal. [6] Ludwig Leichhardt was the first European to discover coal deposits in the region in 1845. [7] In the 2011-2012 financial year the region produced 40% of the state's total coal production. [8]

Bituminous coal collective term for higher quality coal

Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen or asphalt. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than anthracite. Formation is usually the result of high pressure being exerted on lignite. Its coloration can be black or sometimes dark brown; often there are well-defined bands of bright and dull material within the seams. These distinctive sequences, which are classified according to either "dull, bright-banded" or "bright, dull-banded", is how bituminous coals are stratigraphically identified.

Ludwig Leichhardt German explorer of Australia

Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt, known as Ludwig Leichhardt, was a German explorer and naturalist, most famous for his exploration of northern and central Australia.

Coal is extracted from the Bowen Basin and transported to port facilities at Port of Gladstone via the Blackwater railway system or to both Hay Point and Abbot Point via the Goonyella railway line. Coal mining is expanding west into the Galilee Basin and requires an extension of the Goonyella line to transport coal to port. Many mines in the region, particularly those within the Fitzroy River basin, were severely impacted by flooding during the 2010–11 Queensland floods. [9]

Blackwater railway system

The Blackwater railway system is located in Central Queensland and services the coal mining area of the Bowen Basin. It carries coal, as well as products, to other destinations by way of connections to the North Coast Line at Rocklands and the Goonyella Line via Gregory coal mine to Oaky Creek. Together with the Moura line the two railway systems are known as the Capricornia Coal Chain.

Hay Point, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Hay Point is a coastal locality in Mackay Region, Queensland, Australia. It contains two towns, Hector on its north coast and Half Tide on its south coast. In the 2016 census, Hay Point had a population of 1,348 people.

Abbot Point is the most northerly deepwater coal port of Australia, situated approximately 25 kilometres north-west of the township of Bowen, Queensland. Established in 1984, it consists of a rail in-loading facility, coal handling and stockpile areas, and a single trestle jetty and conveyor connected to a berth and shiploader, located 2.75 km off-shore. Coal reaches the port via the GAP railway line from the Bowen Basin Coalfields.

Gold, silver, limestone, coal seam gas, magnesite and gemstones are also mined. [6] Sapphires were discovered here in 1875. [10] Gold was discovered in the Mount Morgan region around 1865. Mount Morgan Mine has since gone on to become one of Australia's richest mines. [11]

Purpose built mining towns in Central Queensland include Dysart, Middlemount, Moranbah, Mount Morgan and Moura. Three mining disaster have occurred at Moura since 1975, resulting in the loss of 36 lives. [12]

Citrus canker outbreak

In 2004, an orchard on Evergreen farm was the site of the first detection of citrus canker in Central Queensland. A significant part of the citrus growing industry was devastated when a total of 6,000 acres (24 km2) of crop had to be destroyed so the disease would not spread across the country. [13] In 2005 several fresh outbreaks were reported so the eradication expanded to include private backyard trees. [14] The outbreak's cause has not been fully explained despite a federal inquiry. [13] In 2009 authorities from the Government of Queensland declared the eradication program complete.

Protected areas

Carnarvon Gorge from Boolimba Bluff, 2010 Carnarvon Gorge from Boolimba Bluff 01.07.2010.jpg
Carnarvon Gorge from Boolimba Bluff, 2010
Mount Castletower and Lake Awoonga Mt Castletower from Lake Awoonga.jpg
Mount Castletower and Lake Awoonga

The region contain 33 national parks. Great Keppel Island has been an island tourist attraction since the 1960s. It and several other islands in the area are surrounded by coral reefs. [15] In the west of the region is Queensland's central highlands and the Carnarvon Gorge, which is protected within the Carnarvon National Park. Carnarvon Gorge features white sandstone cliffs, steep-sided gorges a diverse range of significant plant and animal species and many walking tracks. [16] Kroombit Tops National Park provides habitat for the endemic Kroombit tinker frog. Deepwater National Park is good place for turtle watching. From November to March three species of turtle lay their eggs on beaches protected within the park. [17]


For this purpose the area of Central Queensland was restricted to the areas encircled by the Dawson Highway between Gladstone and Springsure; the Gregory Highway between Springsure and Clermont, and the Peak Downs Highway between Clermont and enters North Queensland via Mackay - extended right to the eastern coastline.

Major cities in the region are Emerald, Gladstone and Rockhampton. Some communities on the Capricorn Coast include Byfield, Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island, Emu Park and Cawarral.


Central Queensland University has a campus at Emerald, Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Central Highlands Regional Library Service

The "Central Highlands Regional Council" operates the following library branches: [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

Gladstone, Queensland City in Queensland, Australia

Gladstone is a city in the Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. It is approximately 550 km (340 mi) by road north of Brisbane and 100 km (62 mi) south-east of Rockhampton. Situated between the Calliope and Boyne Rivers, Gladstone is home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity shipping port.

Blackwater, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Blackwater is both a town and a locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia, 190 km west of Rockhampton. It is a town in a significant coal mining area in Central Queensland. The name of the township was inspired by the dark colour of local waterholes.

Emerald, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Emerald is a town in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2016 Census, Emerald had an urban population of approximately 13,500. The town is the business centre for the Central Highlands Regional Council.

Capricorn Coast Region in Queensland, Australia

The Capricorn Coast is a stretch of coastline in Central Queensland, Australia and is part of the Shire of Livingstone. The region straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, after which it is named.

Moura, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Moura is a small town and locality in the Shire of Banana in Central Queensland, Australia. It services the surrounding coal mining and rural activities. It is situated approximately 65 kilometres (40 mi) west of Biloela on the Dawson Highway, 186 kilometres (116 mi) west of the port city of Gladstone, and 171 kilometres (106 mi) south west of Rockhampton. At the 2011census, Moura had a population of 1,899 people.

Rolleston, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Rolleston is a small town and locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2011 census, Rolleston had a population of 129 people.

Dawson Highway highway in Queensland

The Dawson Highway is a state highway in Queensland, Australia. It runs for 405 km between Gladstone and Springsure where it terminates. From Gladstone to Rolleston it is signed as State Route 60, and then A7 onwards to Springsure. It continues west for another 247 km as Dawson Developmental Road to Tambo on the Landsborough Highway. North of Springsure, A7 becomes the Gregory Highway.

Springsure Town in Queensland, Australia

Springsure is a town and a locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. It is 66 kilometres (41 mi) south of Emerald on the Gregory Highway. It is the southern terminus of the Gregory Highway and the northern terminus of the Dawson Highway. It is 765 kilometres (475 mi) northwest of Brisbane. In the 2016 census, Springsure had a population of 1,103 people.

Shire of Livingstone Local government area in Queensland, Australia

The Shire of Livingstone is a local government area located in the Capricornia region of Central Queensland, Queensland, Australia, to the immediate north and east of the regional city of Rockhampton. The shire, administered from the coastal town of Yeppoon, covers an area of 11,776.3 square kilometres (4,546.9 sq mi), and existed as a local government entity from 1879 until 2008, when it amalgamated with several other councils to become the Rockhampton Region. The Shire was re-established on 1 January 2014 following a successful de-amalgamation referendum in 2013.

The Anglican Diocese of Rockhampton is a diocese in the Province of Queensland and one of the 23 dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia. The diocese covers an area of approximately 57 million hectares, roughly twice the size of New Zealand and four times the size of England and Wales. The diocese contains nearly the whole central regions of Queensland. The population of the diocese is 216,000 of whom approximately 48,000 indicate that they are Anglicans. The diocese has 20 parishes and ministry districts, with the largest parish bigger than the State of Victoria. The cathedral church of the diocese is St Paul's Cathedral in Rockhampton. The most recent Bishop of Rockhampton was the Right Reverend Godfrey Fryar who retired in December 2013.

Shire of Bauhinia Local government area in Queensland, Australia

The Shire of Bauhinia was a local government area in Central Queensland, Queensland, Australia. The Shire, administered from the town of Springsure, covered an area of 23,649.6 square kilometres (9,131.2 sq mi), and existed as a local government entity from 1879 until 2008, when it was amalgamated with the Shires of Duaringa, Emerald and Peak Downs to form the Central Highlands Region.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton is a suffragan Latin Church diocese of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, erected in 1882, covering Central Queensland, Australia.

Bluff, Queensland Town in Queensland, Australia

Bluff is both a town and a locality in the Central Highlands Region, in Central Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 census, Bluff had a population of 370.

Central Highlands Region Local government area in Queensland, Australia

Central Highlands Region is a local government area in Queensland, Australia.

Nogoa River river in Queensland, Australia

The Nogoa River is a river located in Central Queensland, Australia.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, a significant rail electrification program was completed in the Australian state of Queensland. The electrified Queensland network is the largest in Australia with over 2,000 kilometres electrified, the next biggest is New South Wales with 640 kilometres, that is served mainly as passenger operations.

Construction of Queensland railways

Queensland's railway construction commenced in 1864, with the turning of the first sod of the Main Line by Lady Diamantina Bowen, the wife of Queensland's first governor Sir George Bowen at Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. A narrow gauge of 3 ft 6 in was selected due to cost savings in providing a rail link to Toowoomba. Despite being built with bridges wide enough for standard gauge, and the fact that most other lines did not require heavy earthworks, the gauge remained the Queensland system norm.

Central Western railway line, Queensland

The Central Western railway line is a railway line in Queensland, Australia. It was opened in a series of sections between 1867 and 1928. It commences at Rockhampton and extends west 863 kilometres (536 mi) to Winton.

Curtis Island, Queensland Suburb of Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia

Curtis Island is a locality in the Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Curtis Island had a population of 323 people. The town of Southend is within the locality.


  1. 1 2 "Census data". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  2. 1 2 "An Overview of Food and Fibre Industries in Central Queensland" (PDF). Regional Development Australia. Retrieved 20 June 2014.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. Paul Robinson, Elloise Farrow-Smith & Miranda Saunders (17 April 2014). "An ownership row has erupted over who holds Australia's Beef Capital title". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. "The economics of beef in Central Queensland" (PDF). Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  5. About Beef Australia, Beef Australia website. Accessed 10 December 2017.
  6. 1 2 "Central Queensland information and maps". Department of Natural Resources and Mines. The State of Queensland. 27 February 2014. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  7. "Coal Mining in Blackwater". Blackwater International Coal Centre. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. "Central Queensland Regional Plan". Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. 24 April 2015. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  9. "Return to full production for flood affected mines in Central Queensland". Queensland Reconstruction Authority. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  10. "History of the Sapphire Industry - Central Queensland". Australian Sapphire. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  11. "Mount Morgan Mine Site (entry 600751)". Queensland Heritage Register . Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  12. "Moura inquiries". The State of Queensland. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  13. 1 2 "Spot of Trouble". Landline . 29 March 2009.
  14. "Citrus canker outbreak to impact on residents". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2008.[ permanent dead link ]
  15. "About Keppel Bay Islands". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  16. "About Carnarvon Gorge". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  17. "Nature, culture and history". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  18. "Central Highlands Regional Libraries Locations and Hours" . Retrieved 1 May 2017.

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Coordinates: 23°26′22.97″S144°53′09.69″E / 23.4397139°S 144.8860250°E / -23.4397139; 144.8860250