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Moranbah Water Tower - panoramio.jpg
Moranbah Water Tower at sunset, 2011
Moranbah is located in Queensland
Coordinates22°00′06″S 148°03′12″E / 22.0016°S 148.0533°E / -22.0016; 148.0533Coordinates: 22°00′06″S 148°03′12″E / 22.0016°S 148.0533°E / -22.0016; 148.0533
Population8,735 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2.65292/km2 (6.8710/sq mi)
Elevation249 m (817 ft)
Area3,292.6 km2 (1,271.3 sq mi)
LGA(s)Isaac Region
State electorate(s)Burdekin
Federal Division(s)Capricornia
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
28.9 °C
84 °F
16.7 °C
62 °F
580.2 mm
22.8 in
Localities around Moranbah:
Pasha Eaglefield Burton
Pasha Moranbah Coppabella
Kilcummin Kilcummin Winchester

Moranbah is a town and locality in the Isaac Region, Queensland, Australia, located on the Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and Clermont.[2][3] It is a coal mining town and at the 2011 census had a population of 8,965.[1] In addition to the permanent population, Moranbah also has a large fly-in fly-out population in excess of 1500 who work in Moranbah's mines.[4] Moranbah services the Peak Downs Mine, Goonyella Riverside Mine, Broadmeadow Mine, Moranbah North coal mine, North Goonyella coal mine and several other smaller mines in the region. Although one of the newest towns in the region, its central location and large population has made it the seat of the Isaac Regional Council.[5][6]


The first European to explore the region was Ludwig Leichhardt in January 1845 and settled by pastoralists in the 1850s.[7]

Moranbah was established in 1969.[7] The town was rapidly expanded in the late 1970s by the Utah Development Company to house mine workers. The town has been featured twice (once in 1977 and again in 2012) on Four Corners, an investigative news program, exploring the effects of Australia's various mining booms on local rural communities.[8]

Moranbah Post Office opened on 1 March 1971.[9]

Moranbah State School opened on 1 January 1971 with a secondary department, which became Moranbah State High School on 25 January 1976. Moranbah East State School opened on 27 January 1981.[10][11]

Approximately 100,000 workers have been employed in coal mining over Moranbah's 48 year history. The town has provided considerable economic development for Queensland and Australia more generally.[citation needed]


Moranbah is a thriving community. For a small regional town it offers a diverse range of sports and entertainment facilities including a skate park, library, public swimming pool, soccer, rugby league, golf course,[12] AFL, hockey, tennis, off road racing, motocross and a BMX club.

Isaac Regional Council operates a public library located at Grosvenor Complex, Batchelor Parade, Town Square.[13]

The Moranbah branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Meeting Room at Town Square.[14]

Peak Range National Park is located to the west of the town.[7]

Notable people[edit]

The following people were born in, or have lived in, Moranbah:

Cost of living[edit]

In 2011, the Queensland Government's Office of Economic and Statistical Research reported Moranbah as the most expensive place to live in the state of Queensland. The study compared the cost of goods and services such as rent, electricity and household fuels in regional areas, to those in Brisbane and found Moranbah in first place with a housing index at 65 per cent above that of Brisbane. Since then, housing prices and accommodation rentals have returned to much more affordable levels.[16]


  • Assembly of God ("Oasis Life")
  • Uniting Church
  • Catholic Church
  • Anglican Church
  • Christian Fellowship Church



  • Australian rules football - Moranbah Bulldogs. Established in 1976, the Senior Club boasts 5 Premierships. In 1977, 1978 and 2014 in the Mackay AFL, and in 1985 and 1986 in the now defunct Central Highlands AFL. The Bulldogs currently participate in the AFL Mackay competition in a 7 club competition and are the most recent Premiers.
  • Rugby league - the club competes as the Moranbah Miners in the Mackay & District Rugby League competition, fielding teams in three adult grades as well as a number of junior teams in the Mackay Junior League competition.[17] Previously the club competed as the Sharks in the Central Highlands competition against teams from Dysart, Blackwater, Middlemount, Tieri, Emerald, Clermont and Bluff.
  • Soccer - Moranbah Hawks
  • Netball
  • Indoor Volleyball
  • Squash
  • Cricket (during summer season)
  • Social water polo
  • Touch Football league
  • Gymnastics
  • Gun Club
  • BMX
  • Athletics Club
  • Golf
  • Crossfit


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Moranbah". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 December 2015. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Moranbah - town (entry 22774)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Moranbah - locality (entry 49384)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ Petkova-Timmer, Vanessa; et al. "The development of Moranbah - Stakeholder analysis" (PDF). Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  5. ^ "About Council - Isaac Regional Council". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Moranbah - Isaac Regional Council". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Moranbah". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Boom times pushing regional towns to the limit". ABC. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  9. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  10. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  11. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Moranbah Golf Club". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Moranbah Library". Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Branch Locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Dale Harding | MCA Australia". Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  16. ^ (27 May 2011). Study counts higher living costs in regional Qld. ABC Capricornia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  17. ^ "About Us". Moranbah Miners Rugby League Football Club Inc. Retrieved 15 June 2017.

External links[edit]