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Mt Isa

About Mount Isa

Location

Mount Isa is located in north-west Queensland on the banks of the Leichhardt River. With a population of approximately 21,000, it is the major service centre for the region.  

Languages

While Aboriginal English is the language most widely spoken in this area, the Kalkadoon or Kalkatunga are the main language groups for the area. Many groups move into the region from neighbouring communities including Dajarra, Camooweal, Boulia, Urandangi and the Gulf as well as from across the Northern Territory border, inlcuding Alpurrurulam (Lake Nash) and Tennant Creek. The use of an interpreter may be necessary to assist complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Mount Isa

Mount Isa facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Mount Isa community include:

  • 34.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 12.7% 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:

  • 38.5% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 17.4% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 22.7% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in the Mining industry.

For more 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Mount Isa, 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 Mount Isa

Getting to Mount Isa

Mount Isa is 900km west of Townsville. Access by road is via the Flinders Highway travelling through the towns of Charters Towers, Hughenden and Cloncurry. Queensland Rail operates a twice-weekly passenger service from Townsville to Mount Isa. Twice-weekly coach services also operate between Mount Isa and Townsville.

Regular flights to Mount Isa from major centres are also available. The Mount Isa Airport is approximately 8km from the city centre.

Seasonal considerations

Mount Isa may be subject to flooding in the wet season. 

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol restrictions in Mount Isa. 

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Mount Isa Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Manager, Mount Isa Service Centre (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships)

Phone: 07 4747 2089
Mobile: 0472 809 103

Sorry business

‘Sorry Business’ is a term used during the time of mourning following the death or ‘passing away’ 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. However, the experience of Sorry Business can vary within each community. Commonly, the name of the deceased is not used for some time or the deceased person is called by another name. In some communities, photographs or stories of the deceased are not used without the express permission of relevant family members.

Services will not close close during Sorry Business; however, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander non-government organisations may operate limited services on the day of a funeral so staff can attend to pay their respects.   

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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 for Mount Isa is:

Mount Isa Community Justice Group
PO Box 324 Mount Isa 4825

Coordinator: Martin McHugh
Chairperson/Director: Mick Lowcock

Phone: 07 4749 8502
Mobile: 0457 596 133 or 0407 132 231
Email: mmchugh[at]nwqicss.org or mlowcock[at]nwqicss.org

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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
  • men's 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.