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Far North Queensland

Far North Queensland, or FNQ, is the northernmost part of the Australian state of Queensland. The region, which contains a large section of the Tropical North Queensland area, stretches from the city of Cairns north to the Torres Strait.

Various Government Departments and agencies have different definitions for the region. The Queensland Government Planning Department's Population Growth - The Far North Queensland Region 2005 document defines the region an area comprising of ten local government areas: (Atherton, Cairns, Cardwell, Douglas, Eacham, Herberton, Johnstone, and Mareeba) and two Aboriginal Councils (Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah). The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines the region as region containing most of Cape York Peninsula (excluding the south western quarter, half way up the Gulf of Carpentaria coast) and the Torres Strait Islands and extending as far south as Hinchinbrook Island and the town of Cardwell but does not include the city of Townsville. This larger definition is also used by other State Government agencies and also encompasses the local government areas of Cook Shire, Croydon Shire, Ethridge Shire, the Aboriginal communities of Aurukun and Lockhart River, and local government authorities in the Torres Strait region. It has a total area of 272,655.2 km²

The main population and administrative centre of the region is located in Cairns. Other key population centres include Cooktown, the Atherton Tableland, Weipa and the Torres Strait Islands. The region also consists of many Aboriginal and farming communities.

Significant industries include tourism, cattle grazing, agriculture (sugar cane and tropical fruits) and mining of both sand and bauxite.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the region's population at 30 June 2003 to have been 231,494 of which 117,531 lived in Cairns. The region contains 25.6% of the state's Indigenous population, or 28,909 people, making up 11.8% of the region's population.

Far North Queensland based federal Member of Parliament Bob Katter has suggested that Far North Queensland secede from Queensland to guarantee better parliamentary representation. (Credit: Wikipedia)

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