Sawmill on heritage list

Former Elgin Vale Sawmill, between Goomeri and Nanango, has been nominated for State heritage listing.
Former Elgin Vale Sawmill, between Goomeri and Nanango, has been nominated for State heritage listing. Contributed

THE former Elgin Vale Sawmill, located between Goomeri and Nanango, has been nominated for State heritage listing.

Acting Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was now up to the community to give its views on the cultural heritage significance of the place.

“The Elgin Vale Sawmill has been put forward for possible listing on the Queensland State Heritage Register, and public comment is now being sought on whether that listing should go ahead,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“When it was built in 1944 to replace an earlier sawmill, Elgin Vale was thought to be one of Queensland’s largest sawmills.

“Much of the original fabric and layout of the mill are still intact and the remains of the Elgin Vale township, constructed from 1927, show us how accommodation was built for workers and their families in relatively remote timber milling locations in Queensland.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the sawmill, which is now operating as a museum run by the Gympie Regional Council, was important because it showed how steam-driven sawmilling operations developed in the Wide-Bay Burnett region, a major area for Queensland’s timber industry.

“It’s exceptional in Queensland for its ability to demonstrate the process of using steam technology to mill hoop pine which it does on the rare occasions that it’s fired up for tourist events,” she said.

“When the mill closed in 1987 it was still dependent on steam to drive the mill’s operations, long after most mills had converted to electricity.”

Elgin Vale Sawmill was identified for possible listing as part of the statewide heritage survey being carried out by the Heritage Branch of the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

Places that are entered in the Heritage Register are considered of importance to Queensland’s history and are protected under heritage legislation.

To be heritage-listed, a place must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • demonstrate the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history; be rare, uncommon or an endangered aspect of Queensland’s cultural heritage;
  • have the potential to yield information that adds to our understanding of the State’s history;
  • demonstrate principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural place;
  • be aesthetically significant;
  • demonstrate a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period;
  • have strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reason;
  • have a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group of organisation important to Queensland’s history.

Written submissions to The Site Registrar, Cultural Heritage, Department of Environment and Resource Management, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane 4001 will be accepted until July 16, 2010.

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