Alcohol restrictions in Queensland communities


Restricted area

The Kowanyama restricted area is the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire including all public and private places. This includes the Errk Oykangand National Park (formerly known as the Mitchell-Alice Rivers National Park) and the Mitchell River and:

  • the northern sides of Topsy Creek
  • the northern and southern sides of Coleman River.

The rest of the Topsy Creek waterway and the other parts of the Coleman River are not part of the restricted area.

Alcohol restrictions

The maximum amount of alcohol that a person can have in the restricted area is:

  • 2 litres of wine (unfortified) and 4.5 Litres (12 x 375ml cans) of any combination of beer and premixed spirits in which the concentration of alcohol is less than 4% alcohol/volume

Fortified wine (including muscat, port and sherry) is not allowed in Kowanyama.

This amount is per person on foot, or per vehicle, boat or aircraft regardless of the number of people in it.

No homebrew and homebrew equipment is allowed in the restricted area.

Sly grog

It is illegal to sell alcohol without a licence or permit (sly grog) in Queensland. Penalties apply.

Phone the confidential Sly Grog Hotline on 1800 500 815 to report incidents of sly grog.


Maximum penalties for possessing illegal alcohol in the restricted area are:

  • first offence 375 penalty units (currently $53,906)
  • second offence 525 penalty units (currently $75,468) or 6 months imprisonment
  • third or subsequent offence 750 penalty units (currently $107,812) or 18 months imprisonment.

Vehicles found carrying alcohol above the set quantity in the restricted area may be confiscated.

It is also an offence to attempt to bring alcohol into the restricted area. The maximum penalty for this offence is 375 penalty units (currently $53,906).

The maximum penalty for possessing alcohol in a dry place is 19 penalty units (currently $2,731).

These penalties apply to all people living in, travelling through, visiting or working in the restricted area.

The penalty unit from 1 July 2022 is $143.75.

In this guide:

  1. Aurukun
  2. Cherbourg
  3. Doomadgee
  4. Hope Vale
  5. Kowanyama
  6. Lockhart River
  7. Mapoon
  8. Mornington Island
  9. Napranum
  10. Northern Peninsula Area
  11. Palm Island
  12. Pormpuraaw
  13. Woorabinda
  14. Wujal Wujal
  15. Yarrabah

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