The Rockhampton Regional Council includes four main residential centres being: Rockhampton City, Gracemere, Mount Morgan and Yeppoon.
The nearest major centres to Rockhampton are Gladstone (one hour drive to the south) and Mackay (three hours drive to the north).
The Rockhampton Regional Council is estimated to have a population of 114,105 as at 30 June 2009*. This represents an increase of 2.203 persons over the prior year.
The Bowen Basin is an area of coal reserves and mining related communities that extends over approximately 60,000 square kilometres of Central Queensland from the town of Collinsville in the north to Theodore in the south. This is the largest coal reserve in Australia.
Rockhampton is also intrinsically connected to the Bowen Basin though the rail infrastructure which forms part of the Central Queensland Coal Network (depicted left*). QR National is a major employer in the region with a workforce of 3,215 in Central Queensland as at 30 June 2010**.
Within the Bowen Basin proper there are 15 townships, with an estimated combined population of 93,506 (as at 31 July 2009 ). Of this number, 12.228 are considered non-resident workers***. The relatively small size of these communities creates a heavy reliance on nearby regional centres and the infrastructure that they offer.
This infrastructure includes health service, retail and leisure, and onward transport (heavy rail and air).
* Queensland Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Population and housing profile – Rockhampton Regional Council, April 2010 ** Queensland Government Department of Local Government and Planning, Coal Transport System Map, August 2010. * QR national, Share Offer Document, October 2010. *** Queensland Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Bowen Basin Population Report, April 2010