Shire of Aurukun

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Shire of Aurukun
Aurukun LGA Qld.png
Location within Queensland
Population 1,216 (2010)[1]
 • Density 0.16488/km2 (0.42704/sq mi)
Established 1978
Area 7,375.0 km2 (2,847.5 sq mi)
Mayor Dereck Walpo
Council seat Aurukun
Region Far North Queensland
State electorate(s) Cook
Federal Division(s) Leichhardt
Aurukun Shire Council Logo.png
Website Shire of Aurukun
LGAs around Shire of Aurukun:
Cook Cook Napranum
Gulf of Carpentaria Shire of Aurukun Cook
Gulf of Carpentaria Pormpuraaw Cook

The Shire of Aurukun is a local government area in Far North Queensland, Australia. The shire covers part of western Cape York Peninsula, the most northerly section of the Australian mainland.

It covers an area of 7,375.0 square kilometres (2,847.5 sq mi), and has existed as a local government area since 1978.


The territory of the Shire of Aurukun was previously an Aboriginal reserve administered under the Queensland Aborigines Act by the Presbyterian Church. The Aurukun Mission was established in 1904 and Aboriginal people from all over Cape York were relocated there.

In 1978, the land was taken over by the Queensland Government, who enacted the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act 1978, proclaimed the Shire of Aurukun and granted to it Aboriginal Land Lease No.1. An elected Aboriginal council lasted just one month and an administrator was appointed. The State's media at the time generally was of the opinion that bauxite revenues were a major factor in the Government's decision making on the issue.[2]

In the 1990s, an elected council once again took charge.

Towns and localities[edit]

The Shire of Aurukun includes the following settlement:


The population of the Shire of Aurukun, along with Cook, Torres and Mornington, have been singled out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), who conduct the quinquennial census, as particularly difficult to measure accurately. Reasons for this include cultural and language barriers, transport and geographical spread of the population, who are mostly located in isolated communities. As such, all figures are likely to be lower than the actual population on the census date.

Year Population
1981 791
1986 937
1991 784
1996 781
2001 1,032
2006 1,043

Chairmen and Mayors[edit]

Start of term End of term Chairman/Mayor Notes
2008 2012 Neville James Pootchemunka [3]
2012 current Dereck Walpo Elected on 16 June 2012 in a postponed election due to the death of one of the original candidates.[4] Re-elected unopposed in 2016.[5]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 March 2011). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009–10". Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Cribb, Margaret (December 1978). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1978". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 24 (3): 371–372. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  3. ^ "2008 Aurukun Shire - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "2012 Aurukun Shire - Postponed Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "2016 Aurukun Shire Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°21′30″S 141°43′41″E / 13.35833°S 141.72806°E / -13.35833; 141.72806