Reporter Arthur Gorrie has a look at a risky reminder of our history, the market day subsidence at Alford Park.
Reporter Arthur Gorrie has a look at a risky reminder of our history, the market day subsidence at Alford Park. Tanya Easterby

Alford car park cave-in

LEFTOVER hazards from Gympie's gold mining past showed they were still with us, when a mine shaft collapsed under the Museum Markets car park at Lake Alford over the weekend.

The hole, of unknown depth, was quickly fenced and was yesterday awaiting permanent repair, a Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said.

The area attracts thousands of bargain hunters and visitors on market days and its maze of largely unmapped old mine shafts is an important part of the history on display at the Gold Mining Museum.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman yesterday said the hole had been discovered on Sunday, a busy market day at the nearby Lake Alford markets.

The spokesman said departmental officers were investigating the subsidence, the second at the Monkland site.

"Abandoned Mine Lands Program officers from the department's Gympie Shaft Repair Project are investigating mine subsidence in the Museum Markets car park area of Lake Alford - also known locally as the Duck Ponds," he said.

Officers visited the site on Sunday and discovered a 2m by 2m hole that had appeared in the vicinity of a previously capped historic single mine shaft.

"The site was immediately barricaded for public safety, the spokesman said.

"An excavator has been booked for Wednesday to excavate the hole and help identify what sub-surface actions are responsible for (its) appearance. Those investigations will determine what actions will be taken to remediate the hole."

The department has been operating the Gympie Shaft Repair Project since 1990 to make safe thousands of historic mine shafts in the Gympie area, many dug more than a century ago following the discovery of gold in 1867.

 

Fast facts

  • Repair Project began 1990.
  • $13.4million spent so far on making safe more than 2000 shafts in Gympie area.
  • Latest subsidence discovered Sunday.
  • Work to begin tomorrow on investigation and repair.
Gympie Times


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