Napranum is a small community on the Cape York Peninsula in remote Far North Queensland. Known as Weipa South, Napranum was established in 1898 by Moravian missionaries on behalf of the Presbyterian church. Napranum is now governed by a local Aboriginal council. At the 2006 census, Napranum had a population of 830; the Protector of Aborigines at the time, Archibald Meston, protested against the establishment of the mission on the grounds that the people were healthy and could adequately sustain themselves. Despite this, the mission went ahead inland near York Downs station to avoid contact with luggers who were notorious for kidnapping Aboriginal people to exploit in their diving operations. Restrictive legislation was enacted by the state of Queensland in 1911, giving the "Protector" exceptional powers, it stated in sections 10 and 17 that: "The Chief Protector shall be the legal guardian of every Aborigine and half-caste child, notwithstanding that any such child has a parent or other relative living, until such child attains the age of 21 years."
And, "The Chief Protector may cause any aborigine or half-caste to be kept within the boundaries of any reserve or Aboriginal institution, or be removed from one reserve or institution and kept herein." Jan Roberts notes that the only other people treated like this were the insane. The "Protector" was given the right to confine any such person within any reserve or Aboriginal institution, the right to imprison any Aborigine or half-caste for 14 days if, in the Protector's judgement, they were guilty of neglect of duty, gross insubordination or wilful preaching of disobedience, it gave powers to the police to confine Aborigines to reserves to "protect them from corruption". This latter power was used by Comalco in 1957 to justify the removal of Weipa Aborigines. In 1932 the community had to relocate at Jessica Point, because of malaria. At this time most of the people were Awngthim but soon different tribes and clans were brought from Old Mapoon, other communities. In 1955 a geologist, Henry Evans, discovered that the red cliffs on the Aboriginal reserve remarked on by the early Dutch explorers and Matthew Flinders, were enormous deposits of bauxite - the ore from which aluminium is made - and to a lesser extent tungsten.
The "Comalco Act of 1957" revoked the reserve status, giving the company 5,760 square km of Aboriginal reserve land on the west coast of the Peninsula and 5,135 square km on the east coast of Aboriginal-owned land. Mining commenced in 1960; the mission became a government settlement in 1966 with continued attempts by Comalco to relocate the whole community elsewhere. The company built a new town for its workers on the other side of the bay. Weipa South Post Office opened on 1 December 1967 and closed in 1982. Napranum received DOGIT status, has its own community council separate from the Shire of Cook. Napranum has the Mary Ann Coconut Library at Weipa, it is operated by the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council. Weipa
Badu or Badu Island, pronounced in English, in Kalau Laguw Ya Badhu, is an island 60 km north of Thursday Island, Australia in the Torres Strait. Badu Island is a locality in the Torres Strait Island Region, Badu is the only town, located on the south-east coast; this island is one of the Torres Strait Islands. The language of Badu is Kala Lagaw Ya. In 1606, Luís Vaz de Torres sailed to the north of Australia through Torres Strait, navigating it, along New Guinea's southern coast. Warfare, fishing, canoe building, house building and dugong hunting and a host of other activities were the main occupations of Badu men until the 1870s. However, headhunting ceased with the adoption of Christianity. Pearlers established bases on the island during the 1870s and by the early 1880s the islanders were becoming dependent on wages earned as lugger crews. At the same time, the first missionaries arrived. At the peak of the shell industry in the late 1950s, the Badu fleet of 13 boats employed a workforce of 200 providing work for many men from other islands as well.
Once the shell trade declined, many people moved to the mainland for work Badu Island State School opened on 29 January 1905. On 1 February 2014 the Queensland Government handed over to the Badhulgal traditional owners freehold title to 10,000 hectares of land on Badu Island, ending a struggle for recognition dating back to 1939; the title deed was handed over by Mr David Kempton, Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, to Badu Elder Lily Ahmat at a ceremony on the island. Infrastructure on Badu Island consists of: Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh Art Centre Airport Regional Council Office State School Health Centre with permanent doctor Two grocery stores Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Nona Street, operated by the Torres Strait Island Regional Council Post Office Centrelink Agency Football Field MotelA number of other locally owned run businesses are in operation at Badu including live seafood exports. Notable people who are from or who have lived on Badu Island include: Ethel May Eliza Zahel and public servant.
Badu Island Airport University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Badu Badu Community History
Sue Islet (Queensland)
Warraber is the middle island of The Three Sisters, Torres Strait 100 km North East of Thursday Island Queensland, Australia in the Vigilant Channel Torres Strait. Situated on a coral cay, Sue Island has an abundance of traditional foods such as wongai and coconuts. Fish and dugong inhabit the warm waters and coral reefs surrounding the island; this island is one of the Torres Strait Islands. The people of Sue Island are part of the Kulkalaig, of the Central Islands of Torres Strait, including Nagi; the Nagilgal and of Waraberalgal are the same people. Life on the island remains traditional and includes hunting and thayilai; the day-to-day language of Waraber is Brokan, the traditional language of the people of Waraber is Kulkalgau Ya, one of the four dialects of Kalaw Lagaw Ya. Kulkalagau Ya phrases: Ni midhadh? How are you? Ninu nel nga? What is your name? Stuwa unaga? Where is the store? Ninu waru ubilaig, au? Do you like turtle? Ni kulkalgadh yamuleka, au? Do you speak Kulkalgau Ya? Ni markaidh muleka, au?
Do you speak English? Ina ngau mudh; this is my house. Kayib mina kapu goeiga; this is a nice day. Maal kapu idi; the sea is dead calm. Inabi ai mina kapu mithalnga; this food is delicious. Aye, ngoeba buthuka. Come, let's go to the beach. Many Sue Islanders still retain strong links to their traditional religion, centering on ancestor worship, including a totemic clan structure. An important religious figure was one of Malo-Bomai's brothers; the inhabitants are named for Kulka. On 1 July every year the residents of Sue Island observe the "Coming of the Light". On this date in 1871, a Christian reverend named Samuel MacFarlane of the London Missionary Society tried to proselytize the natives of the Torres Strait to Christianity. There are two main churches on the island, including the more traditional Church of the Torres Strait and the Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church. Warraber Island State School was opened on 29 January 1985. On 1 January 2007 it became Tagai State College - Warraber Island Campus, a campus of Tagai State College.
Warraber Island has an Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Ganaia Street operated by the Torres Strait Regional Council. This island houses new ship tracking and communications technologies and ship polling via the INMARSAT C satellite system. Warraber Island Airport
New Mapoon, Queensland
New Mapoon is a town in the Northern Peninsula Area Region and a locality split between the Northern Peninsula Region and Shire of Torres, Australia. At the 2016 census, New Mapoon had a population of 383. New Mapoon is an area south of Seisia and west of Bamaga at the tip of Cape York Peninsula, adjoining the Lockerbie Scrub; the people who live at New Mapoon were forcibly moved from Marpuna in the early 1960s to accommodate mining expansion on their traditional country. They now have historical association and administrative responsibility for a DOGIT area on the traditional country of the Gudang people; the residents of New Mapoon have a ranger service, which works with the Injinoo and other Northern Peninsula Area community rangers to undertake land management practices in the NPA. New Mapoon has Tackle' shop. New Mapoon is 1 of the 5 communities; the NPA consists of 1,030 km2 in the northern most region of Cape York in far north Queensland. Injinoo, Umagico and Bamaga communities make up the remainder of the NPA.
New Mapoon is located near Bamaga, was called Hidden Valley. The site was locally known as Charcoal Burner or Mandingu; the government established New Mapoon to accommodate residents from Mapoon Mission, some of whom accepted an offer to relocate there following the closure of Mapoon Mission in July 1963. Mapoon Mission was established under the name Batavia River Mission at Cullin Point in 1891 by the Presbyterian Church of Australia on the traditional lands of the Tjungundji people, its residents included the Tjungundji, descendants of other local language groups whose lands were incorporated into the Mapoon reserve over time, people forcibly removed to the mission from the Gulf of Carpentaria area and descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to the mission by Presbyterian missionaries. In 1954, the Presbyterian Church and Department of Native Affairs attended a conference at Mapoon to discuss the mission’s future. Director of Native Affairs, Cornelius O’Leary, rejected the Presbyterian Church’s proposal to maintain the mission and a policy decision was made to close the mission.
Other problems at Mapoon had been brought to his attention prior to the conference including financial and staffing difficulties, resident dissatisfaction. O’Leary had advised the government of his preference to close the mission before attending the conference. Residents of Mapoon were not consulted about the closure of Mapoon and most protested against the initial plan to relocate residents to other Presbyterian missions or to "assimilate those ready for exemption into the Australian way of life elsewhere". At the time the community became aware of the closure plan in 1954, around 285 people lived at Mapoon; the church administration did not commit to the government’s closure policy until 1960, after experiencing persistent pressure caused by under-funding and uncertainty after the discovery of bauxite deposits in the Mapoon-Weipa area in 1955. Between 1961 and 1962, the Presbyterian Church began deliberately reducing services to mission residents; the government had begun to build houses at New Mapoon.
By July 1963, the last Presbyterian staff member had resigned, the Department of Native Affairs had appointed one of its staff as Superintendent of Mapoon and around 100 Mapoon residents had relocated to New Mapoon. At the end of 1962, around 162 people still remained at Mapoon continuing their campaign against the closure and setting up alternative schooling, food supplies and transport; the Queensland Government reported in May 1963 that the "balance of the inhabitants of Mapoon of their own volition moved to New Mapoon". However, the official records indicate. On 14 November 1963, the Director of Native Affairs, Patrick Killoran, instructed the Thursday Island police to remove 23 people from Mapoon to Bamaga and "commence demolition of the vacated shanties on the reserve"; the next night, two Queensland police officers arrived at Mapoon on the MV Gelam, together with several Saibai Island Community Police officers. A police report of the event has never been located; the bulk of the demolition of the Mapoon mission occurred in mid-1964.
Presbyterian Church records indicate that the remaining 70 residents at Mapoon were transported to Weipa and New Mapoon aboard the MV Gelam between January and May 1964 After the 1964 closure of Mapoon, former residents continued to lobby for the re-opening of their community. In 1974, Jerry and Ina Hudson and several other families returned to ‘old Mapoon’ and in 1984, established the Marpuna Aboriginal Corporation which built up community facilities. On 30 March 1985, the New Mapoon community elected 5 councillors to constitute the New Mapoon Aboriginal Council established under the Community Services Act 1984; the Act conferred local government type powers and responsibilities upon Aboriginal councils for the first time. Umagico, Cowal Creek and Bamaga elected council representatives at this time. On 27 October 1986, the New Mapoon council area an Aboriginal reserve held by the Queensland Government, was transferred to the trusteeship of the New Mapoon Aboriginal Council under a Deed of Grant in Trust lease.
On 1 January 2005, the New Mapoon Aboriginal Council became the New Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council. In 2007, the Local Government Reform Commission recommended that the 3 NPA Aboriginal councils and the 2 NPA Torres Strait Islander councils be abolished and a Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council be establishe
Hope Vale, Queensland
Hope Vale is a town within the Aboriginal Shire of Hope Vale and a locality split between the Aboriginal Shire of Hope Vale and the Shire of Cook, Australia. It is an Aboriginal community. At the 2011 census, Hopevale had a population of 974 people. Hope Vale is on Cape York Peninsula about 46 kilometres northwest of Cooktown by road, about 10 kilometres off the Battlecamp Road that leads to Lakefield National Park and Laura; the Cape Bedford Mission was established by Johann Flierl, a missionary of the Lutheran Church in 1886, with the settlement at Elim on the beach. Owing to fears that the German-influenced Aboriginal people might cooperate with the advancing Japanese in World War II, the total population of 286 was evacuated south to various communities by the military in May 1942; the German Lutheran missionaries were sent to internment camps. Most of the people were sent to Woorabinda, near Rockhampton, in Queensland, where a large number perished from disease and malnutrition. Hope Vale was re-established as a Lutheran mission in September 1949.
Aboriginal people from the Hope Valley and Cape Bedford Missions settled there. A work crew was allowed to return in 1949 and the first families came home in 1950. Hopevale Post Office opened on 1 May 1965 and closed in 1990. Hopevale is no longer run as a mission by its own elected community council. In 1986 it received a "deed of grant in trust" which "granted title to 110,000 ha of land, Aboriginal Reserve Land held by the Under Secretary as trustee, to the community council to act as trustees of the land for the benefit of the residents." The Aboriginal Land Act 1991 transferred into Indigenous ownership all previous reserve land under DOGIT titles. "The Warra people of the Hopevale Community of Eastern Cape York Peninsula in Queensland received acknowledgement of their native title rights in December 1997. The determination recognised rights of exclusive possession, occupation use and enjoyment over 110,000 ha. "Hopevale is home to several clan groups who speak Guugu Yimidhirr and other related languages, as well as English.
Due to a lack of reliable water supplies at Elim, the community was shifted about 20 kilometres inland to its present site. Notable former residents of Hopevale are Queensland rugby league player Matt Bowen and lawyer and activist Noel Pearson. Pearson has criticised the level of violence in the community. On 21 July 2008 the Hope Vale community opened the Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre, in the Jack Bambie building at 5 Muni Street; this centre provides training venue and public Internet access. The Hope Vale community has a strong choral singing tradition since its evacuation to Woorabinda; the ensemble has performed at the Queensland Music Festival on three occasions—in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Marie Yamba Aboriginal Mission, a Mission situated south of Proserpine that commenced in 1897 and finished in 1902 with 24 Aboriginals being moved to Hope Vale Mission. Pohlner, Peter. 1986. Gangarru. Hopevale Mission Board, Queensland. ISBN 1-86252-311-8 Poland, Wilhelm. Loose leaves. Originally published as three booklets by The Mission Institute of Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, 1905-1912.
Reprint: Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide. 1988. ISBN 0-85910-468-0 Roth, W. E. 1897. The Queensland Aborigines. 3 Vols. Reprint: Facsimile Edition, Hesperian Press, Victoria Park, W. A. 1984. ISBN 0-85905-054-8. Sutton, Peter. Languages of Cape York: Papers presented to a Symposium organised by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.. ISBN 0-85575-046-4. Wynter, Jo and Hill, John. 1991. Cape York Peninsula: Pathways to Community Economic Development; the Final Report of The Community Economic Development Projects Cook Shire. Cook Shire Council. Aboriginal Co-Ordinating Council Media Facility. 2002. The Woorabinda Story: 7 Years in Exile. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Cairns. 20 April 2005. The Morning Show with Pat Morrish. Radio Broadcast. Bambie, Herman. 2000. Bringing Them Home Oral History Project. Hope Vale, 26 October, Oral History, TRC 5000/ 204. Bennett and Gordon, Wilfred. 2007. ‘Social Capital and the Indigenous Tourism Entrepreneur’.
In: J. Buultjens and D. Fuller Striving for Sustainability: Case Studies in Indigenous Tourism, pp. 333–70. Lismore, NSW, Australia: Southern Cross University Press. Brad, Jen. 1994. Milbi Thagaalbigu Balgaayga. Hopevale: Guugu Yimithirr Cultural Centre. Callaghan, editor. Mangal-Bungal Clever with Hands: Baskets and stories woven by some of the women of Hopevale, Cape York Peninsula. Hopevale Community Learning Centre Aboriginal Corporation. ISBN 978-0-646-46701-6 Costello, David Bringing Them Home Oral History Project. Hope Vale, 26 October, Oral History, TRC 5000/ 187. Deeral, Eric no date. Lest we Forget: Home at Last. Hopevale: Guugu Yimithirr Cultural Centre. Dekker, John. 8 June 1970. Guugu-Yimidhirr Words of Life. Global Recordings: catalogue number C16750, CD. Dekker, John. 8 June 1970. Guugu-Yimidhirr Words of Life. Global Recordings: catalogue number C16751, CD. Evans, Kay E. 1972. ‘Marie Yamba and Hope Vale: The Lutheran Missions to the North Queensland Aborigines, 1886-1905’ Queensland Heritage 2.6:26-35.
Gordon and Haviland, John. 1980. "Milbi: Aboriginal Tales from Queensland's Endeavour River. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Gordon and Bennett, Judy (July 2007 first print no
City of Townsville
The City of Townsville is an Australian local government area located in North Queensland, Australia. It encompasses the city of Townsville, together with the surrounding rural areas, to the south are the communities of Alligator Creek and Reid River, to the north are Northern Beaches and Paluma, included is Magnetic Island, it has a population of 186,757 residents, is the 28th-largest LGA in Australia. Prior to 2008, the new City of Townsville was an entire area of two previous and distinct local government areas: the former City of Townsville; the City of Townsville was first established as the Borough of Townsville under the Municipal Institutions Act 1864 on 15 February 1866. The surrounding rural area, given the name Thuringowa Division, was established on 11 November 1879 as one of 74 divisions around Queensland under the Divisional Boards Act 1879. On 31 March 1903, Thuringowa Division became the Shire of Thuringowa and Townsville was granted city status under the Local Authorities Act 1902, the ancestor of the current Local Government Act 1993.
The borders of the Townsville municipality were expanded to keep pace with urban growth in 1882, 1918, 1936, 1958 and 1964 – the purpose of expanding the borders was to keep urban and rural administrations separate. This state government convention changed under the Bjelke-Peterson government and the borders between the two local governments became static. By 1986 the Shire of Thuringowa was declared a city. In 1939, Fred Paterson stood as an alderman for the Townsville City Council, becoming the first member of the Communist Party to win such an office in Australia, he was re-elected in 1943. The same year, he was narrowly defeated, he contested and won the Bowen seat in the Queensland Parliament, holding it from 1944 until 1950. A succession of endorsed Labor Party mayors and majority councillors held a continuous civic government from 1976–2008, this was the longest continuous Labor administration in the country until Tony Mooney was defeated in 2008. Following local government reform undertaken by the State Government of Queensland, the City of Townsville and the City of Thuringowa were amalgamated in 2008.
The process of amalgamation was completed on the election of a new combined council on 15 March 2008. 1866–1867: John Melton Black 1868: William Alfred Ross 1869: William Aplin 1870: Frederick Coleman 1871–1872: Patrick Hanran 1873: S. F. Walker 1874: Joseph Fletcher 1875: S. F. Walker 1876: Henry Knapp 1876–1877: Patrick Hanran 1878: E. A. Head 1879: Patrick Hanran 1880–1881: Thankful Percy Willmett 1882: Patrick Hanran 1883: W. V. Brown 1883–1884: Thankful Percy Willmett 1885: Eugene J. Forrest 1885: Henry Barbenson Le Touzel Hubert 1886: W. P. Walker 1887–1888: Arthur Glennie Bundock 1889: John Newport Parkes 1890: William Clayton 1891: Lionel Fairley 1892: Patrick Hanran 1892: C. F. A. Sparre 1893: Patrick Hanran 1894: Murdo Cameron 1895: Eugene J. Forrest 1896: Patrick Hanran 1897: Michael McKiernan 1898: A. E. McCreedy 1899: Thomas Enright 1900: A. E. McCreedy 1901: Murdo Cameron 1902: Thankful Percy Willmett 1903: William Archer Ackers 1904: Thomas Smyth 1905: Murdo Cameron 1906: J. Thompson 1907: Peter Minehan 1988: G. Murray 1909: Thomas Smyth 1910: Joseph Hodel 1911: George Murray 1912: John Henry Tyack 1913: Robert Wilson McClelland 1914–1915: William Henry Swales 1916: Robert Wilson McClelland 1917–1918: John Edward Clegg 1919: Thomas George Melrose 1920–1923: William Green 1924–1926: Anthony Ogden 1927–1932: William John Heatley 1933–1952: John Stewart Mitchell Gill 1952–1967: Angus J. Smith 1967–1972: Harold Phillips 1972–1976: Max Hooper 1976–1980: Perc Tucker 1980–1989: Mike Reynolds 1989–2008: Tony Mooney 2008–2012: Les Tyrell 2012–:Jenny HillOther notable aldermen include: 1936–1949 Tom Aikens, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Mundingburra and Townsville South Townsville City Council is the Local Government Authority that services the Local Government Area of Townsville.
The council is represented by the mayor, who have been elected by the whole city. The current mayor is Cr Jenny Hill, the deputy mayor of the pre-amalgamation City of Townsville in 2007 and early 2008; the council provides many services to residents of the city of Townsville, including infrastructure, garbage, public works, entertainment and leisure i.e. parks, events etc. In 2006 the council had an operating expenditure of $201.3M and a capital works budget of $103.3M The current civic cabinet consists of one mayor, elected at large, 10 councillors, elected from 10 individual divisions. At the last Queensland Local Government election, held on 19 March 2016, Jenny Hill from the centre-left Team Jenny Hill was elected mayor of Townsville, along with 10 other councillors from the same team. No councillors were elected from the rival centre-right Jayne Arlett's team, nor were any independents creating an undivided council. Les Walker, from Team Jenny Hill, was elected as deputy mayor; the populations given relate to the component entities prior to 2008.
The 2011 census was the first for the new City. The Townsville City Council operates libraries at Aitkenvale, Townsville City and Thuringowa Central, it operates a mobile library service, serving the following suburbs on a regular schedule: Monday: Deeragun & Bluewater Tuesday: Nelly Bay, opening hours may be affected by tide times Wednesday: Rollingstone & Saunders Beach, fortnightly alternating with Alligator Creek and Oakvale Port Moresby, Papua New Gui
Gulf of Carpentaria
The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea. The northern boundary is defined as a line from Slade Point, Queensland in the northeast, to Cape Arnhem, Northern Territory in the west. At its mouth, the Gulf is 590 km wide, further south, 675 km; the north-south length exceeds 700 km. It covers a water area of about 300,000 km²; the general depth does not exceed 82 metres. The tidal range in the Gulf of Carpentaria is between three metres; the Gulf and adjacent Sahul Shelf were dry land at the peak of the last ice age 18,000 years ago when global sea level was around 120 m below its present position. At that time a large, shallow lake occupied the centre of; the Gulf hosts a submerged coral reef province, only recognised in 2004. The first European explorer to visit the region was the Dutch Willem Janszoon in his 1605–6 voyage, his fellow countryman, Jan Carstenszoon, visited in 1623 and named the gulf in honour of Pieter de Carpentier, at that time the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.
Abel Tasman explored the coast in 1644. The region was explored and charted by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and 1803; the first overland expedition to reach the Gulf was the Burke and Wills expedition, led by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills which left Melbourne, Victoria in August 1860 and reached the mouth of the Bynoe River in February 1861. The land bordering the Gulf is flat and low-lying. To the west is Arnhem Land, the Top End of the Northern Territory, Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf. To the east is the Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait which joins the Gulf to the Coral Sea; the area to the south is known as the Gulf Country. The Gulf country supports the worlds largest intact savanna woodlands as well as native grasslands; the woodlands extend up the west and east coast of the Gulf. They are dominated by Melaleuca species from the family Myrtaceae; the climate is humid with two seasons per year. The dry season lasts from about April until November and is characterized by dry southeast to east winds, generated by migratory winter high pressure systems to the south.
The wet season lasts from December to March. Most of the year's rainfall is compressed into these months, during this period, many low-lying areas are flooded; the Gulf is prone to tropical cyclones during the period between April. The gulf experiences an average of three cyclones each year that are thought to transport sediments in a clockwise direction along the Gulf's coast. In many other parts of Australia, there are dramatic climatic transitions over short distances; the Great Dividing Range, which parallels the entire east and south-east coast, is responsible for the typical pattern of a well-watered coastal strip, a narrow band of mountains, a vast, inward-draining plain that receives little rainfall. In the Gulf Country, there are no mountains to restrict rainfall to the coastal band and the transition from the profuse tropical growth of the seaside areas to the arid scrubs of central Australia is gradual. In September and October the Morning Glory cloud appears in the Southern Gulf; the best vantage point to see this phenomenon is in the Burketown area shortly after dawn.
It has been hypothesized that the Gulf experienced a major asteroid impact event in 536 A. D; the Gulf of Carpentaria is known to contain fringing reefs and isolated coral colonies, but no near-surface patch or barrier reefs exist in the Gulf at the present time. However, this has not always been the case. Expeditions carried out by Geoscience Australia in 2003 and in 2005 aboard the RV Southern Surveyor revealed the presence of a submerged coral reef province covering at least 300 km2 in the southern Gulf; the patch reefs have their upper surfaces at a mean water depth of 28.6 ± 0.5 m, were undetected by satellites or aerial photographs, were only recognised using multibeam swath sonar surveys supplemented with seabed sampling and video. Their existence points to an earlier, late Quaternary phase of framework reef growth under cooler-climate and lower sea level conditions than today. In the Top End the Roper River, Walker River and Wilton River flow into the Gulf; the Cox River, Calvert River, Leichhardt River, McArthur River, Flinders River, Norman River and the Gilbert River drain the Gulf Country.
A number of rivers flow from the Cape York Peninsula into the Gulf, including Smithburne River, Mitchell River, Alice River, Staaten River, Mission River, Wenlock River and Archer River. Extensive areas of seagrass beds have allowed commercial shrimp operations in the Gulf. Zinc and silver is mined from the McArthur River zinc mine and exported via the Gulf. Another zinc mine, Century Zinc is in the gulf on the Queensland side of the border, it exports its product through the port facility at Karumba. The cattle industry is a important part of the regional economy in the gulf. According to the Chairman of the Gulf of Carpentaria's Commercial Fisherman's Organisation, Gary Ward, the number of sightings of Indonesian vessels fishing illegally in the gulf's waters increased in early 2005. By 2011 the numbers of illegal fishing boat interceptions had declined with the cause attributed to enforcement efforts and education programs in Indonesia. In 2012, a major new port located to the west of Karumba and rail conne