Mount Isa, Queensland

Mount Isa, Queensland

Infobox Australian Place | type = city
name = Mount Isa
state = Queensland

caption = location of Mount Isa
population = 25,000
density = 0.5
est = 1923
area = 42904
timezone = AEST
utc = +10
postcode = 4825 (Mount Isa City), 4828 (Camooweal)
dist1 = 1830
location1 = Brisbane, Queensland
dist2 = 904
location2 = Townsville, Queensland
mintemp = 17.3
maxtemp = 31.8
rainfall = 454.3|

Mount Isa is a city in North-West Queensland, Australia. It came into existence because the area holds vast mineral deposits. Mount Isa Mines is one of the most productive single mines in world history – based on combined production of lead, silver, copper and zinc [ Mount Isa at Australian Explorer] .

With a population climbing towards 25,000 in the city [ 3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2005-06 ] ] and 35,500 Fact|date=February 2008 in the district, Mount Isa is the administrative, commercial and industrial centre for the state's vast north-western region. Although situated in an arid area, the artificial Lake Moondarra [] 19km north of the city provides both drinking water and an area for watersports, birdwatching and recreation. Locals often refer to Mount Isa as 'The Isa'.


The city came into existence soon after 1923 when John Campbell Miles discovered a rich seam of silver-lead, the western edge of the Cloncurry field. Named after the Mount Ida [] goldfields in Western Australia, mining operations began there a year later. [ [ What is Mount Isa's history?] Mount Isa City Council] In 1964, the town made national headlines after the events leading to the infamous 1964 Mount Isa strike. Mount Isa was proclaimed a city in 1968 when the population has reached 18,000. The city and surrounds grew in front and around the mine to the point that by 1972, 34,000 people resided in the town. Fact|date=August 2008 The population dropped steadily for the next three decades until a mining boom occurred.

Local governance

The Mount Isa City Council [] administers an area of 42 904 km², and the town of Camooweal, located 188 km to the west, is in fact a 'suburb' of the city. Mount Isa once laid claim to being the largest city in the world by area, with a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, even though the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia and the direct-controlled municipality of Chongqing in China are considerably larger.

Local industry and business

Mount Isa's industry is largely dependent on mining. Xstrata Plc operates the Mount Isa Mines lease adjacent to the town, which comprises the "Enterprise" underground copper mine, X41 underground copper mine, "Black Star Open Cut" silver-lead zinc mine, and metallurgical processing facilities. Silver-lead-zinc ore is also mined 20 km to the north at Hilton from the "George Fisher" underground mine, and the adjoining "Handlebar Hill" open cut, which is trucked back to Mount Isa for processing.

Mount Isa is in the top two of largest copper mining and smelting operations in the country. [ [ 1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008 ] ] Copper and lead are smelted on site, with anodes and zinc concentrate being transported 900 km to the city and port of Townsville on the east coast. The lead ingots are transported to a refinery in Britain where the silver is extracted. The mine is the most significant landmark in the area, with the stack from the lead smelter (built 1978), standing 270 m tall, visible from all parts of the city and up to 40 km out. Fact|date=February 2008


Tourists can find plenty to interest them in and around the city. One of the major attractions is the Hard Times Mine at "Outback at Isa" [] . The city's annual rodeo, which lasts three days, usually attracts enough visitors to triple the town's population.

Culture and sport

The local theatre group, the Mount Isa Theatrical Society, or MITS, often holds plays and musicals, at least once every few months or so.

Cricket, rugby, league and tennis are the most common sports but BMX, shooting, dancing and ten-pin bowling are also present.

Mount Isa also has a cinema complex, situated in the CBD, that contains three air-conditioned cinemas, a skate park/aquatic centre and a multi-purpose sporting complex for basketball and other indoor sports. Mount Isa's events complex, Buchanan Park, opened in May 2007, can hold up to 6000 people and is used for special events such as concerts and expos. It is also the new home for the city's annual show and rodeo.

The city is known for its annual rodeo and Mardi Gras street parade every August. There is also an annual Multicultural Festival in early September.

In August 2007, Mount Isa made an appearance on Andrew Denton's "Enough Rope" television show, as an 'on the road' special.

Famous people from Mount Isa

* William Barton, Didgeridoo player
* Simon Black, Australian rules footballer
* Gerard Denton, cricketer
* Simmone Jade Mackinnon, actress
* Deborah Mailman, actress
* Pat Mackie, union leader (1964/5 dispute)
* Gene Miles, rugby league player
* Greg Norman, golfer
* Scott Prince, rugby league player
* Nathan Fien, rugby league player
* Pat Rafter, tennis player
* Carl Webb, rugby league player
* John White, squash player
* William Sweetenham, Olympic Swimming Coach [ [ Bill Sweetenham: the bloke from Mount Isa saving British swimming - ] ]
* Douglas Rees Laing, International agricultural scientist
* Richard De Chazal, international fashion designer and photographer [ [ Australian Story Program 24, 1997 ] ] [ [ Artlink Magazine - Male Nude: A Private View - The quarterly that links art and society ] ]


Mount Isa City (not including Camooweal) has a estimated population of 24,767 housed in approx. 9050 dwellings. The population of the surrounding districts, which includes Cloncurry, Flinders, McKinlay, Burke, Carpentaria and Richmond shires is 35,742. Fact|date=June 2008

The ratio of males to females living in Mount Isa is reputedly five to one. [,23599,24193460-2,00.html] However, the most recent census found that men actually comprise only 52.6% of the population and that the five-to-one figure is an exaggeration. []



* AM 666 4LM (commercial)
* FM 100.9 Mob FM (commercial-70% country)
* FM 101.7 ABC Classic FM []
* FM 102.5 Hot FM (commercial)
* FM 103.3 4TAB (horse racing)
* FM 104.1 ABC Triple J
* FM 104.9 ABC News Radio []
* FM 105.7 Radio Rhema (religious)
* FM 106.5 ABC Local Radio []
* FM 107.1 ABC Radio National []


* VHF 6 ABC Qld []
* VHF 8 MSCM (mainly 7 network)
* UHF 29 SBS
* UHF 32 Imparja (mainly Nine network)
* UHF 35 NITV (Aboriginal programs) []


* [ The North West Star] - printed daily Mon-Fri
*The Courier Mail - Mon-Sat
*Sunday Mail - Sun


Mount Isa City has fifteen residential suburbs and four industrial-bushland suburbs. The Leichhardt River divides the city into areas known as "mineside" and "townside". Xstrata, the power station and the Airport are on the mineside whilst the majority of the city, including the CBDand Base Hospital are on the townside. In recent years, with the mining boom and demand for accommodation and land causing a population increase, the city has began to spread out, with new suburbs in the south-east and north of the city in the pipeline. It is hoped these expansions will cater for a 40,000 plus population in the next ten-twenty years.
*Happy Valley (mineside)
*Mica Creek (mineside) - includes Mica Creek Powerhouse
*Healy (townside)
*Healy Heights (townside) - residential suburb currently under construction
*Townview (townside)
*Parkside (mineside) - Mount Isa's first and largest suburb.
*Mornington (townside)
*The Gap (townside)
*Mount Isa City (townside) - includes main shopping centres and eateries
*Mount Isa East (townside) - has own post office and shopping centres
*Miles End (mineside)
*Menzies (townside) - includes Buchanan Park events complex.
*Pioneer (townside) - includes TAFE campus and ten-pin bowling complex
*Leichhardt (mineside)
*Soldiers Hill (mineside) - all streets and parks named after war locations and soldiers
*Sunset (townside)
*Winston (townside)
*Ryan (townside) - mostly industrial, includes army and State Emergency Service barracks
*Kalkadoon (mineside) - includes airport and Kalkadoon Park
*Lanskey (townside)
*Spreadborough (townside) - drag racing track, speedway. Mostly bushland and light industry.
*Breakaway Creek(townside) - east of the main city, first when you drive in.


Mount Isa city and surrounds are serviced by a taxi service. Also, a taxi service known as "Isa-Curry" express transports passengers to and from the neighbouring centre of Cloncurry to Mount Isa and back again, usually for shopping and medical requirements. Additionally, many of the city's clubs have courtesy buses to and from their establishments that run seven days a week and into the early hours of the morning. Greyhound Australia has a depot in Mount Isa, with coach services to and from Townsville, Brisbane and Tennant Creek.

The city is served by QR passenger train "The Inlander", which travels overnight to Townsville twice a week in each direction.

Mount Isa Airport has regular daily services to Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, with other services to many remote Outback communities in western Queensland. The primary carriers which service Mount Isa are Qantas, and Macair Airlines


Mount Isa has eight public primary schools and three private primary schools:
* [ Happy Valley State School]
* [ Healy State School]
* [ Townview State School]
* [ Barkly Highway State School]
* [ Central State School]
* [ Sunset State School]
* [ Mount Isa School of Distance Education]
* Mount Isa Special School
* St Kieren's (private)
* St Josephs (private)
* [ Mount Isa Christian College] (private)

And three high schools:
* Good Shepherd Catholic College (private)
* [ Mount Isa School of Distance Education] (to grade ten)
* Spinifex State College "(three campuses)"The residential campus of Spinifex College is unique in the fact that it is the only State-run boarding-type school in Queensland. Mount Isa is also home to School of the Air, a unique way of schooling isolated students in this vast section of the country.The city also holds the main campus of the Mount Isa Institute of TAFE offering courses in a multiple range of fields, including mining, agriculture and trades. In addition, James Cook University has a presence, with the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health in the Base Hospital complex.



Lead poisoning

In 2008 a Queensland Government Health report found that more than 10 per cent of children in Mount Isa had lead levels above World Health Organization recommendations. The mining operator Xstrata has denied responsibility and has stated that the town has naturally high levels of lead in the soil. [ [ Queensland Health] ]

Mayor's comments about women

Mayor John Molony drew international press attention in August 2008 when he told the Townsville Bulletin newspaper that Mt. Isa's gender imbalance makes it a good place for "not so attractive" women to live. "With five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa," he said. [

ee also

*List of cities by surface area

External links

* [ Mt. Isa City Council]
* [ Mt. Isa Mines]


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