Just 11 Statistical Local Areas (2.3% of total) in Queensland account for 26% of the highest rank positions across 21 indicators of disadvantage. Eight of those 11 locations are classified ‘very remote’, highlighting the particular challenges facing these communities.

Since 2007, there has been a significant increase in the number of communities in the Torres Strait Islands (as well as Northern Peninsula areas) that appear onQLD graph the most disadvantaged list. However this may be a reflection of improved data collection rather than deterioration of conditions.

The most disadvantaged areas in Queensland show high rates of:

  • young adults not engaged in employment of study
  • long-term unemployment
  • prison admissions
  • no internet access
  • low family income
  • criminal convictions.

We can see that disadvantage is concentrated when we compare the 3% most disadvantaged Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) to the rest of the state. Those living in the 3% most disadvantaged SLAs in the state are:

  • more than 8 times as likely to have criminal convictions and more than 6 times more likely to have juvenile convictions
  • nearly 5 times more likely to be disengaged from education or employment as young adults
  • over 4 times as likely to have suffered domestic violence or child maltreatment, and to have a low level of education
  • more than twice as likely to have a disability or have been unemployed for a lengthy period.

Locational disadvantage is entrenched

More than half of the state’s 40 most disadvantaged SLAs in Dropping off the Edge 2015 were also highly disadvantaged in the 2007 study (see table below).

It is also worth noting that some of the communities appearing amongst the ‘most disadvantaged’ for the first time in this study were not noted in the previous study due to lack of available data. This is the most likely explanation for the significant increase in the number of Torres Strait islands (as well as Northern Peninsula areas) that now appear on the most disadvantaged list.

Most Disadvantaged SLAs in Queensland – comparison with previous years
(Bands illustrate the severity of disadvantage experienced by a location with Band 1 being most severe. Locations listed alphabetically within bands.)

Band 2015 2007
Band                     20015                                              2007                        
Band 1 Aurukun

Band 2

Band 2 Cherbourg
Lockhart River
Palm Island

Band 2

Band 3 Bundaberg – Kolan
Rockhampton – Mount Morgan
South Burnett – Wondai
South Burnett – Murgon
Band 2
Band 5
Band 1
Band 6
Band 1
Band 1
Band 4 Cairns – Central Suburbs
Fraser Coast – Hervey Bay B
Redland – Balance
South Burnett – Nanango
Band 6

Band 1
Band 3
Band 3
Band 5 Acacia Ridge
North Burnett – Gayndah
North Burnett – Biggenden
Band 4

Band 4

Band 6
Band 1
Band 6 Bundaberg – Bundaberg
Caboolture Central
Deception Bay
Fraser Coast – Maryborough
Gladstone – Miriam Vale
Gympie – Kilkivan
Southern Downs – Warwick
Tablelands – Mareeba
Waterford West
Band 4
Band 2
Band 6

Band 4
Band 6