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North Queensland, or FNQ, is the northernmost
part of the Australian state of Queensland. The
region, which contains a large section of the
Tropical North Queensland area, stretches from
the city of Cairns north to the Torres Strait.
Various Government Departments and agencies have
different definitions for the region. The Queensland
Government Planning Department's Population Growth
- The Far North Queensland Region 2005 document
defines the region an area comprising of ten local
government areas: (Atherton, Cairns, Cardwell,
Douglas, Eacham, Herberton, Johnstone, and Mareeba)
and two Aboriginal Councils (Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines the
region as region containing most of Cape York
Peninsula (excluding the south western quarter,
half way up the Gulf of Carpentaria coast) and
the Torres Strait Islands and extending as far
south as Hinchinbrook Island and the town of Cardwell
but does not include the city of Townsville. This
larger definition is also used by other State
Government agencies and also encompasses the local
government areas of Cook Shire, Croydon Shire,
Ethridge Shire, the Aboriginal communities of
Aurukun and Lockhart River, and local government
authorities in the Torres Strait region. It has
a total area of 272,655.2 km²
The main population and administrative centre
of the region is located in Cairns. Other key
population centres include Cooktown, the Atherton
Tableland, Weipa and the Torres Strait Islands.
The region also consists of many Aboriginal and
Significant industries include tourism, cattle
grazing, agriculture (sugar cane and tropical
fruits) and mining of both sand and bauxite.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates
the region's population at 30 June 2003 to have
been 231,494 of which 117,531 lived in Cairns.
The region contains 25.6% of the state's Indigenous
population, or 28,909 people, making up 11.8%
of the region's population.
Far North Queensland based federal Member of Parliament
Bob Katter has suggested that Far North Queensland
secede from Queensland to guarantee better parliamentary