Pormpuraaw community is situated on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula approximately half way between Karumba and Weipa. It is 650 km by road from Cairns and the nearest police station is Kowanyama which is 3 hours drive to the southeast. The population is approximately 650 Aboriginal people and approximately 30 white Australians.
Formerly known as Edward River Aboriginal Mission, Pormpuraaw was an Anglican mission established in 1938. The people included Thaayorre, Wik, Bakanh and Yir Yoront. This was the third mission to be set up in the southwestern Cape York region. In 1967, control was passed from the church to the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs.
There is a State primary school which caters for children from Years 1 to 7 with classes from differing year levels combined. There is one preschool and one day care centre which is operated by an Aboriginal corporation. There is no high school or TAFE in the division.
Electricity is supplied by a generator and is subject to frequent power interruptions. Electricity is paid up front via the use of power cards which are purchased from the Post Office. The supply of electricity is not reliable and there are often blackouts and brown outs especially during the wet season. Power is very expensive with an average cost of AU$40 to AU$45 per week when running air conditioners.
Town water is supplied by a bore and pumped into tanks. The water is of poor quality and high in minerals which gives it a strong flavour. Both police residences have rain water tanks that are suitable for drinking. Water pressure from both water sources is low. Sewage is by septic tank.
The Far Northern regional Health Authority operates the Pormpuraaw Primary Health Clinic which is open during business hours on Monday to Saturday and after hours for emergencies. There is no doctor or dentist within town. The Royal Flying Doctor Service attends once a week and the dentist once every two to three months.