Cassowary-Hinchinbrook

About Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook Shire

Location

The Cassowary Coast region is located in far north Queensland, extending from Garradunga in the north to Cardwell in the south and the East Palmerston district in the west. It includes the towns of Innisfail, Tully, Cardwell and Mission Beach. The Hinchinbrook region is located about 110km northwest of Townsville and is named after Hinchinbrook Island, which is separated from the mainland by the Hinchinbrook Channel. The main administrative centre for this shire is Ingham.  

Languages

The following Aboriginal languages are present in this region:

  • Bandjin
  • Djiru
  • Girramay
  • Gugu Badhun
  • Fulnay
  • Jirrbal
  • Nywaigi
  • Warrgamay
  • Warungnu.

Though English is widely spoken throughout this region, Aboriginal English is predominant throughout Aboriginal communities. Assistance may be required for some complainants, witnesses,victims and offenders who come before the court

History of Hinchinbrook region

Hinchinbrook region facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Hinchinbrook region include:

  • 36.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 6.9% of households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were overcrowded.

The following figures are from the 2011 Census and will be updated later in 2017:

  • 28.3% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 14.6% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 14.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in Education and training.

For more 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for the Hinchinbrook region, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

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Visiting the Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook Shire

Getting to the Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook region

The Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook Shire are easily accessible by road. The closest commercial airport to Innisfail is Cairns, and the closest commercial airport to Ingham is Townsville. 

Seasonal considerations

During the wet season flash flooding can close sections of the Bruce Highway for several hours up to several days. Check the QLDTraffic website for up to date conditions. 

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol restrictions in the Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook. 

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Hinchinbrook Shire Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Senior Project Officer (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships)

Phone: 07 4232 4232

Sorry business

‘Sorry Business’ is a term used during the time of mourning following the death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Torres Strait Islanders may use the terminology ‘Bad or Sad News’. The term can also refer to the past practice of forcibly removing children from their families. The intensity of mourning is reflective of the importance of the family or person who has died. The mourning process enables healing for the family and community involved.

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community. Before coming into this area it is may be useful to contact the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation before arriving. The Girringun office will be able to let you know if there is Sorry Business occurring and, if applicable, suggest how to best to proceed. 

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Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications, assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences, and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG works to support the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector
  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.

The local CJG is not active at this time.

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Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

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More information

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Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.