A community in transition
The Central Highlands region is made up of 13 communities spread over a large area covering around 60,000 square kilometres. Strong growth in the region has seen the population swell to around 30,000 with a median age of 33.
The construction of Fairbairn Dam and the Emerald Irrigation Scheme and its location in Australia’s largest coal reserve has seen significant development and expansion of agriculture and mining across the region. Natural attractions such as the largest sapphire-producing fields in the Southern Hemisphere and Carnarvon Gorge are also driving an emerging tourism industry.
Major freight routes east- west intersect, with the road between Charters Towers and northern New South Wales forming an inland transport alternative between Cairns and Melbourne.