Palm Island

About Palm Island


Palm Island is one of 16 islands in the Palm Island Group and is located 65 km north of Townsville in Cleveland Bay.


Aboriginal English is predominantly spoken on Palm Island and few people speak a Traditional Indigenous language at home. However, assistance may still be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and defendants who come before the court.

History of Palm Island

Palm Island facts and figures

For 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Palm Island, 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 Palm Island

Getting to Palm Island

Hinterland Aviation provides the air transport service to Palm Island. The flight normally takes about 20 minutes. Check the Hinterland Aviation website for the flight schedule or phone 1300 359 428.

Sealink operates a ferry service from Townsville to Palm Island and return (currently 5 days a week). Travel time is about 1 hour 30 minutes each way. Check the Sealink website for up-to-date ferry schedules.

There are two barge services operating to and from the island:

  • the Palm Island Barge also offers a ferry service and a barge service from Lucinda to Palm Island. Check the Palm Island Barge website for details.
  • Reef Logistics operates a barge service (including pick-ups and delivery) from Townsville to Palm Island. Check the Reef Logistics website for details. 

Once on the island there is no taxi service, however the Palm Island Shuttle Service offers on-island transport. Phone 0499 610 648.

Seasonal considerations

Palm Island is subject to tropical cyclones and heavy rains between October and April each year.

Alcohol restrictions

Alcohol restrictions apply on Palm Island.

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council.

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Sorry business

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community; however the experience of Sorry Business varies 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 to be used without the express permission of relevant family members.

No business is conducted on Palm Island during Sorry Business. However, essential services such as policing, justice, child safety, health and education continue. To obtain information regarding significant events such as funerals, tombstone openings, cultural or social events, contact the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council.

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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 assists in supporting the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Murri Courts, the JP Magistrates Program, Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

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

  • 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 (SPER)
  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector.

For more information about your local Community Justice Group:

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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 groups
  • 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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