Overview of the region
The Northern Gulf natural resource region encompasses the catchments of the Norman, Gilbert, Staaten and Mitchell river systems, covering a land area of approximately 196,000 km². The major population centres are Karumba, Normanton, Croydon, Georgetown, Forsayth, Einasleigh, Mt Surprise, Irvinebank, Dimbulah, Chillagoe, Mount Molloy, Mount Carbine and Kowanyama.
Population and community
The Northern Gulf is a very large, remote area with an estimated population of 1 person per 20 square kilometres.
The majority of the area consists of extensive grazing properties most of which are family owned utilising native savannah pastures. The stable rainfall of the region lends itself as an excellent breeding area for Australia’s beef industry. The regions massive rivers intersects world heritage rainforest, savannah woodland and vast open flood plains.
The Gulf supports commercial, recreational, and traditional fishing operations. Karumba is the principle fishing port of the Northern Gulf region. Coastal and estuarine commercial fisheries are comprised of prawns (trawl), finfish (set net and line) and small crab stock fisheries.
Some 25% of Australia’s water flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria sustaining the regions fisheries. Existing tropical horticulture and cropping is expected to expand alongside new farming ventures as the demand for food and fibre from Northern Australia grows.
Mining has been extensive in the Northern Gulf with a mixture of small alluvial mining operations and large hard rock heap leaching operations. The mineral provinces are still under constant exploration as new technologies unveil further rich deposits.