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Alpha, Queensland facts for kids

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The main street of Alpha
Alpha is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Population 335 (2016 census)
 • Density 1.6470/km2 (4.266/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 4724
Area 203.4 km2 (78.5 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Barcaldine Region
State electorate(s) Gregory
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Localities around Alpha:
Jericho Laglan
Peak Vale
Jericho Alpha Willows
Blackall Windeyer
Mantuan Downs

Alpha is a rural town and a locality in the Barcaldine Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Alpha had a population of 335 people.


The Capricorn Highway passes through the town, which lies on Alpha Creek.


Alpha was initially established as a temporary terminus during construction of the Central Western railway line (then known as the Great Northern line, a name that would be subsequently assigned to the subsequent more northern line west of Townsville to Mount Isa). The railway, which was being built westwards from Rockhampton, was opened to Alpha on 22 September 1884. The construction camp continued moving west, but a township remained at the former terminus. Until the late 1990s, Queensland Rail maintained a locomotive depot in the town.

Alpha State School opened on 30 August 1886.

At the 2006 census, Alpha had a population of 402.

The town remains a service centre for the surrounding pastoral properties and travellers on the highway.


On 29 May 2012 the first mine proposed to be developed in the Galilee Basin, known as the Alpha Coal Project, was approved by the Government of Queensland. Wharatah Coal is planning on building a new mine close to the town called the China First Coal Project. This mine is to be built on the Bimblebox nature refuge which is home to the endangered black-throated finch.

Another two mines are planned. The mining expansion is expected to place a significant strain on local infrastructure. The primary concerns are a lack of available land and sewerage, water and power systems at close to capacity.

Bimblebox, a feature-length documentary directed by Michael C O'Connell (Mountaintop Removal) premiered at the 2012 Byron Bay International Film Festival. Bimblebox explores the "China First" mega mine project being developed by Waratah Coal close to the town of Alpha in the Galilee basin. The film also examines opposition to the China First mine from the owners of the Bimblebox nature refuge which stands in the path of the proposed project. In a 20 March 2012 press conference Waratah coal CEO Clive Palmer accused environmental groups and the films producers of being funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.


Alpha has a public library, tourism information centre, golf course, art gallery, showground, parks, swimming pool, tennis courts, museum, hardware store, newsagents, bank, pub, grocery store, bakery, butcher, post office, BP, Caltex, craft shop, hairdresser, pharmacey, hospital, police station and fire station.


Alpha State School is a government primary and secondary (Prep-10) school for boys and girls at Milton Street (23°39′03″S 146°38′32″E / 23.6507°S 146.6422°E / -23.6507; 146.6422 (Alpha State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 40 students with 8 teachers and 10 non-teaching staff (6 full-time equivalent). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 39 students with 10 teachers and 11 non-teaching staff (6 full-time equivalent).

The nearest secondary schools to Year 12 are in Barcaldine 140 kilometres (87 mi) to the west and Emerald 169 kilometres (105 mi) to the east. Alternatively there is distance education and boarding schools.

Road infrastructure

The Capricorn Highway runs through from east to west, and the Clermont-Alpha Road enters from the north-east.

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