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Lockhart River

About Lockhart River

Location

Lockhart River is a remote community located on the eastern side of the Cape York Peninsula, around 800km north of Cairns by road. The Lockhart River township is surrounded by the Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park. 

Languages

Some traditional languages are spoken in the community, however Aboriginal English is predominant. The major language groups are:

  • Kaanju [Kaan-jew] – Northern and Southern
  • Kanthanumpu [Kun-than Umpoo] – Southern Kuuku Ya’u
  • Kuuku Ya’u [Koo-koo Yaoo] – Northern
  • Umpila [Um-pila]
  • Uutaalnganu [You-thaalan-goo] – Night Island
  • Wuthathi [Woo-tha-thi] – Southern.

The use of an interpreter may be necessary to assist complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Lockhart River

Lockhart River facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Lockhart River community include:

  • 18.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 33.9% 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:

  • 45.2% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 16.9% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 39.0% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in the Public administration and safety industry.

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

Native title information

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

Visiting Lockhart River

Getting to Lockhart River

While all roads within the Lockhart community are sealed, getting to Lockhart during the wet season is difficult. 

The Lockhart River Aerodrome is located about 5km from the township and contains a 1500 metre sealed runway which is suitable for all-weather, 24 hours operations.
As well as emergency and charter flights, a daily air passenger service is available from Cairns to Lockhart River from Monday to Friday. The flight usually takes about an hour and a half. 

Seasonal considerations

From approximately December to April, creeks and rivers flood and all roads into the town from the Peninsula Development Road may be closed. Access into Lockhart River during this period is by sea or air.

Alcohol restrictions

Alcohol restrictions apply in Lockhart River

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

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

Phone: 07 4082 4500
Mobile: 0428 100 934

Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council

Lockhart River office

Phone: 07 4060 7144
Fax: 07 4060 7139
Email: reception2[at]lockhart.qld.gov.au

Cairns office

Phone: 07 4031 0155
Fax: 4031 5720
Email: reception[at]lockhart.qld.gov.au

Sorry business

In Lockhart River, the local church bell is rung at the beginning of a funeral service. During the funeral service no business will take place as a sign of respect and the council will close the office. Once the funeral service is complete, the council will reopen and resume business.
During this time business does not generally take place in the community, however, this does not apply to essential services such as policing, child safety, health, education and justice. 

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 for Lockhart River is:

Wulpumu Community Justice Group
C/- Lockhart River Post Office 4892

Coordinator: Mr Michael Harte 
Director/Chairperson: Ms Ethel Singleton 

Phone: 07 4060 7012
Email: wcjg[at]lockhart.qld.gov.au

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

More information

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.