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Local Fare Scheme – Far North Queensland

From Monday 20 July 2015, the Local Fare Scheme was rolled out to local councils and airlines so they can work out how to tailor the scheme to best suit their community.

Local residents who have lived in the community for 3 or more years can receive up to $400* off return bookings when travelling between the following airports:

The scheme aims to improve the standard of living of local residents by making air travel to neighbouring communities to access health, education and employment facilities more affordable.

To be eligible for the scheme, local residents will be required to provide through a letter from their local Council to prove they have been a resident in Cape York or the Torres Strait for a minimum of 3 years.

* Minimum fare payable is $99 each way plus booking fees. A maximum of $200 off per flight. Return bookings only. Other terms and conditions apply.

To book your return flight

  • Step 1: Visit your Local Council office to get your Letter of Eligibility.
  • Step 2: Book your airfare through a local ticketing agent and present your Letter of Eligibility when making the booking.

See below for eligible airports within each region and council contact details.

Region Airport Council/Community Phone
Cape York Kowanyama Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council 07 4083 7100
Pormpuraaw Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council 07 4060 4600
Aurukun Aurukun Shire Council 07 4060 6800
Weipa Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council 07 4082 5211
Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council 07 4090 5600
Bamaga Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC)
NPARC Bamaga 07 4090 4100
NPARC Seisia 07 4090 6700
NPARC New Mapoon 07 4090 6600
NPARC Umagico 07 4090 6900
NPARC Injinoo 07 4090 6800
Lockhart River Lockhart River 07 4060 7144
Coen Cook Shire Council 07 4069 5444

Region Airport Council/Community Phone
Torres Strait Horn Island Torres Shire Council (07) 4069 1336
Kubin Village Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) (07) 4034 5700
Mabuiag Island
Badu Island
Talbot (Boigu) Island
Saibai Island
Yam (Iama) Island
Sue (Warraber) Island
Coconut (Poruma) Island
Yorke (Masig) Island
Darnley (Erub) Island
Murray (Mer) Island

Frequently asked questions

What is it?

The Local Fare Scheme is an airfare discount of up to $400* for return air travel administered through participating airlines and local Councils from selected airports in Cape York and the Torres Strait.

The scheme aims to improve the standard of living in remote parts of Far North Queensland by reducing the cost of air travel to and from selected airports for eligible residents. Through financial assistance, the scheme allows eligible residents to move around more frequently, enabling social and recreational benefits that in turn will help boost the local economy.

Eligible residents are those who can demonstrate they have lived locally for a minimum of 3 years. To redeem the airfare discount, residents must apply for a Letter of Eligibility through their local Council. Airfares booked under the scheme must be booked through a local ticketing agent.

* The Department of Transport and Main Roads has the ability to amend the discount, eligibility criteria and seat availability at any time throughout the trial.
Minimum fare payable is $99 each way plus booking fees. A maximum of $200 off per flight. Return bookings only. Other terms and conditions apply.


  • Up to $400^ discount for return travel; up to $200^ discount is applied to each one way fare, minimum fare payable is $99^ each way, plus booking fees.
  • Must book return travel.
  • Residents must apply for a Letter of Eligibility through their local Council before booking discounted fares under the Local Fare Scheme.
  • Discounted airfares under the scheme are only available through a local Ticketing Agent.
  • Discount applies at the airline’s discretion.
  • Discount cannot be applied to entry level airfares or tactical sale fares.
  • Fare rules are in accordance with the fare type booked, set by airlines.
  • Discount is for personal air travel only, not for employer paid or government use.
  • Not to be used in conjunction with any other government travel subsidy.
  • Only for use on scheduled air services to selected communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait.
  • Not for use on charter services.
  • Transport and Main Roads can change any aspect of the scheme at any time, including but not limited to discount amount, community scope, seat availability and eligibility requirements.

^ including GST

Are flights from Far North Queensland to Cairns included in the Local Fare Scheme?

Yes, flights to Cairns are included, provided a return trip is booked.

Are flights from Cairns to Far North Queensland included?

No, only flights starting in the communities of Cape York and the Torres Strait are included in the scheme.

Why are some airports excluded?

Some airports have been excluded as discounts available on existing services are thought to be sufficient for community needs. This includes communities serviced by long distance coach services.

How does the scheme work?

For customers

Step 1 – Apply for Eligibility

  • Local residents must go to their local Council and demonstrate (in line with council requirements) that they have lived in the community for a minimum of 3 years. If approved, the local Council will issue the resident with a ‘Letter of Eligibility’.

Step 2 – Buy your ticket

  • Tickets must be bought in person through a ticketing agent
  • To access the Local Fare Scheme discount, residents must:
    • present photo ID
    • provide their Letter of Eligibility
    • book a return ticket
    • advise the ticketing agent of their reason for travel to help with the scheme’s evaluation.

Step 3 – Travel

  • Turn up for the flight
  • Present photo ID*.

    * The Scheme ID from your Letter of Eligibility will be linked to the booking and associated with your photo ID. Therefore your Letter of Eligibility is not required at time of travel.

When can I start booking discounted airfares?

On 20 July the Local Fare Scheme will be rolled out to local Councils and airlines so they can work out how to tailor it for each community.

How do I prove eligibility?

Your local Council will ask you to fill in an application form and provide documentation proving you have lived locally for a minimum of 3 years. Contact your local Council office for more information.

Why do I have to have lived in the community for 3 or more years?

This criteria is based on feedback received from community members during consultation to ensure people who are real local residents benefit from the scheme.

Can I book tickets for family members using the Local Fare Scheme?

Yes, you can book tickets for family members, you just need a copy of their Letter of Eligibility. The family members you have booked for will have to provide ID when travelling. This must reconcile with the booking made and be under the same name as the Letter of Eligibility.

What if I lose my Letter of Eligibility?

Contact your local Council office.

How do I book and pay for my airfare?

You must buy your ticket through a ticketing agent. Payment can be made in any way accepted by the ticketing agent.

I live in one of the outer Torres Strait Islands. If I want to travel to Cairns I’m required to connect to a second plane at Horn Island. Does that mean I get 2 discounts each way, totalling $800?

No. A person based on one of the outer islands travelling to Cairns is entitled to a discount of up to $400 for the full return trip. The discount does not reset when flying through a connecting airport.

How often can I use the scheme?

You can use the scheme for personal travel, in accordance with the conditions of the scheme, a maximum of 12 times during each financial year.

The State Government may review this policy throughout the life of the scheme. Please check TransLink’s web site for any changes.

How far in advance can I book my travel?

Travel can be booked from 20 July 2015 to 30 June 2017.

How long does the scheme run?

The scheme was initially a trial, with a finish date of 30 June 2016. This has now been extended until 30 June 2017. The scheme may be extended, cancelled or a different scheme introduced after this time.

What happens if I miss my flight or need to change my flight?

This will depend on the type of fare you booked. Contact your ticketing agent.

Will I be penalised if I miss a flight?

If you miss more than 2 flights during a 12 month period, you may not be able to receive any further discounts from this scheme. The State Government must spend public money effectively and responsibly, so it is needs to make sure subsidies are not paid for flights which are not used.

How can I provide feedback?

You can provide feedback at any time by calling 13 QGOV or emailing

Last updated
20 December 2016