The RAPAD region comprises the seven local government areas of Central West Queensland - Barcaldine Regional Council, Barcoo Shire Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, Boulia Shire Council, Diamantina Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council (see map below). It covers a total area of 396 609 km² and accounts for 22.9 per cent of the land area of Queensland.
Central West Queensland is one of the most sparsely populated and remote regions in the state. Its population of more than 12 500 people is expected to remain steady over the next 20 years. Longreach is the major rural activity centre in Central West Queensland and services an area of almost 420 000 square kilometres.