About Cape York Sustainable Futures

Cape York Sustainable Futures (CYSF) previously Cape York Peninsula Development Association Inc (CYPDA Inc) was formed 1987 to provide an independent forum to promote the development of Cape York Peninsula, an area covering 137,000 sq. kms. in one of Australia’s most remote regions. Our group is apolitical, cross-sectional and considered a pioneer of community driven representation. It provides an open forum for debate and is the only organisation in the Peninsula to which everyone can belong and where everyone can have their say. We are recognised as the largest membership based organisation in Cape York and have members who are made up of a cross section of the community including Indigenous people, pastoralists, small business owners, tourism operators, agricultural, community organisations, conservationists and local government.  CYSF advocates for enhanced quality of life through the most appropriate means for Peninsula residents and lobbies governments to enable legislative change in order to achieve this goal for the Cape York community.  CYSF is funded mainly through the Australian and Queensland Governments for the work that we undertake with a small proportion of our funding received from the corporate sector and fee-for-service work.


CYSF is the regional development & advocacy organisation for the people of Cape York. We build capacity & self-sufficiency by supporting people’s aspirations and empowering them to take control of their future.


Our vision is that Cape York is a united and prosperous region. We deliver this by implementing suitable programs that meet quadruple bottom line outcomes through communication, advocacy, administration & advice.

CYSF Strengths:

  • CYSF Board Members live and have a vested interest in Cape York,
  • Have a range of interests and bring their diverse experience to the Board.
  • We love Cape York, and maintain strong links to our membership.
  • We communicate broadly with the communities of Cape York, and operate openly and transparently.


CYSF meets quarterly, at different locations across the Peninsula. We have a board of 14 people who represent the key portfolios of Local Government, Land Stewardship, Tourism, Small Business, Agriculture, Mining, Infrastructure, Community Development and Indigenous Business Development.


In 2012, Tourism Cape York was established as Cape York’s Local Tourism Organisation under the umbrella of CYSF and in early 2013, CYSF has also been recognised as the Business Enterprise Centre for Cape York.  For many years, CYSF has delivered environmental projects and these are:

  • Cape York Fire Management Program
  • Cape York Fire & Biodiversity Program
  • Cape York Turtle Conservation Program
  • Cape York Reef Rescue Program

Cape York Sustainable Futures have been involved in Remote Sensing and Global Information Service (GIS) for over a decade, and pioneered the use of satellite data for fire control and land management in Queensland. CYSF combined these two disciplines to form a highly capable management tool for remote area and reserves, focusing on sustainable environmental management. GIS and Remote Sensing are core tools for regional management, where the cost of providing on-ground monitoring is prohibitive or access is limited.

Previous funding initiatives include:

  • Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy
  • Community Bank – Aurukun
  • Horticulture Branding
  • Tourism Product Database
  • Visitor Statistics Project
  • Networking the Nation (mobile phone coverage)
  • Cape York Radio Towers
  • Regional Business Advisor Program funded by the Qld Government
  • Mapping the Northern Peninsula Area
  • CYP Regional Economic & Infrastructure Framework
  • A number of NHT funded projects
  • Rangelands Fire Management Program
  • Eco Tourism Feasibility Study
  • A Journey of Discovery – the Overland Telegraph Line Cape York
  • The Cape York Investment Prospectus

In order to be the “Voice of the Peninsula”, we are always looking for residents of CYP to join Cape York Sustainable Futures so that you have the opportunity to make a difference on the following topics:

  • World Heritage Nomination
  • Wild Rivers Legislation
  • Tenure Issues
  • Infrastructure requirements
  • Economic and social issues

Funding for the financial year 2013 – 2014

CYSF thanks our funders for their contributions which allow us to continue to support the aspirations of the people of Cape York Peninsula.  There was a carry over of funds for CYSF and Tourism Cape York that amounted to $136,673.  This financial year we have been funded for the following activities and should additional funds come in during the financial year, they will be added to the table below:

Australian Government – Department of EnvironmentCape York Regional Fire Strategy Validation$200,000.00
Queensland Government – Department of State Development Infrastructure & PlanningBusiness & Economic Opportunities for CYP Communities$100,000.00
Cape York Natural Resource Management LimitedProvision of NAFI Services$  95,000.00
North Australia Fire Information ServiceContribution to CFI Projects$  25,000.00
Government of South AustraliaFire Mapping Services$  42,000.00
APN Cape YorkCo-ordination, Planning and Implementation of Fire & Turtles Programs$  14,900.00
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire CouncilFeasibility Study Savannah BUring Project$  40,000.00
Balkanu Cape York Development CorporationProviding technical support for APN’s Savannah Burning Methodology Project$  25,000.00
Cook Shire Council & Weipa Town AuthorityContribution to Tourism Cape York – $25,000 each$  50,000.00
Australian GovernmentCarry Over of Reef Rescue On Ground Projects$118,607.00