Tropical North Queensland incorporates the Cairns, Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Torres Strait Islands and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Councils and the Shires of: Aurukun, Burke, Carpentaria, Cook, Croydon, Doomadgee, Etheridge, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mornington, Mapoon, Napranum, Pormpuraaw, Torres, Wujal Wujal, and Yarrabah.
These shires are represented by the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC), and the Aboriginal Local Government Association of Queensland. The region covers 22% (377,718km2) of the total area of Queensland and yet is home to just 6% of the State’s population (242,139 at June 2006). Cairns city contains over half of TNQ’s population (120,433 or 55%).
TNQ boasts fertile soil and valuable minerals that support the flourishing industries of farming and mining. While several other industries also contribute to TNQ’s economy, the tourism sector is a significant contributor to the gross regional product (GRP) equivalent to that of mining and agriculture combined.
The community has a rich multicultural base, including Australia’s largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There is a high level of appreciation for the benefits indigenous tourism can provide to the community and in particular, increasing interest in its potential for economic development.