Heatley is a residential suburb eight km south-west of central Townsville. Formally named in 1967, the suburb recognises an influential mayor of Townsville, William J. Heatley, who held office between 1927 and 1933. 'Heatley' was also a widely known business name: T.L. Heatley Ltd, estate agent, Heatley and Sons' furniture store and Frank Heatley, furniture warehouse.

Heatley High School, in Dalrymple Road, was established in 1968, and Heatley State primary school opened three years later. An adult secondary campus was added in 1990. In the middle of the suburb there is Heatley Park, with a community centre and a swimming pool. Heatley's residential development reflects the changing taste in houses, as low-set houses overtook the earlier high-set design.

The census populations of Heatley have been:

Census DatePopulation
19864629
19964582
20064269
20114215