About Council

McKinlay Shire is the gateway to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The shire spans some 41,000 square kilometres and embraces the townships of Julia Creek and Nelia on the Flinders Highway, and McKinlay and Kynuna on the Matilda Highway. Julia Creek is the main town, and is located approximately 650 kilometres west of Townsville and 225 kilometres east of Mount Isa. 

A rural and regional shire, McKinlay is home to a productive and innovative pastoral industry, as well as the world’s richest single mine producer of silver, lead and zinc at Cannington, and a copper mine in Eloise. The world’s largest natural aquifer, the Great Artesian Basin, underpins and supports our community and the diversity of rich grazing lands and unique animal life the shire has to offer. 

McKinlay Shire has a proud history and flourishing industries, and is a close family community. Looking into the future, it is set to enter a steady growth phase as more people discover this little gem of the North West.

About McKinlay Shire Council 

The Council exists to serve the interests of residents within the McKinlay Shire and is often the first point of call for those with a problem or query about local government services.

Our website provides a wealth of community information as well as information about McKinlay and details of town council activities. The site will continue to evolve as we make more information available. Please send us your comments via our contact page.

McKinlay Shire Profile


  • Size - 40 818 sq/km
  • Population - 1,050
  • Key Localities - Julia Creek (500), McKinlay (30), Kynuna (20), Nelia (10)
  • Major Industries - Grazing, mining ventures at Cannington South32 (the largest producing of silver and lead in the world), Eloise Mine and Tourism.


  • Road lengths - 2088.17 km
  • Council-owned road - 1679.26 km 
  • Aerodromes - 3
  • SES buildings - 3
  • Medical Centre - 2
  • Caravan Park - 1
  • Cattle Yards - 1

Recreation Facilities

  • Julia Creek Indoor Sports Centre
  • Julia Creek Swimming Pool
  • Julia Creek Participation Space (The Daren Ginns Centre)
  • ​Julia Creek Bike Safety Park
  • Kev Bannah Oval
  • McIntyre Park
  • ​Julia Creek Tennis Courts
  • Nerida Currin Skate Park
  • George Sills Park
  • Peter Dawes Park
  • Centenary Park

Community Centres

  • Julia Creek Civic Centre
  • ​Julia Creek CSA Building
  • Julia Creek Library
  • McKinlay Library
  • ​Old HACC Centre
  • McKinlay Centenary Museum
  • Jan Eckford Memorial Centre
  • Crafty Old School House
  • Fr. Bill Busuttin Centre