The Gympie Railway Station Complex, Tozer St, Gympie.
The Gympie Railway Station Complex, Tozer St, Gympie.

Gympie's three heritage ‘hits'

GYMPIE'S heritage values have been recognised with three places in the region among the latest entries to the Queensland Heritage Register.

The newly heritage-listed places are:

Gympie Railway Station Complex, Tozer St, Gympie; Mary Valley Cream Sheds; Amamoor, Kandanga and Melawondi stations; and the Imbil Railway Bridge, over Yabba Creek.

Queensland Heritage Council (QHC) chairman, Professor Peter Coaldrake, said 19 places in the region had been entered in the Heritage Register since September last year.

"Gympie has a rich store of heritage and it is well known that the Gympie community puts great value on these places," he said.

"The QHC recognises and congratulates the Gympie Regional Council and other owners of local heritage places for their outstanding work in maintaining them for future generations to enjoy."

Prof Coaldrake said the Gympie rail complex was important in demonstrating the expansion of Queensland's railway network and the growth of Gympie as a major regional centre.

"As a key site for the movement of goods and people for over a century until its closure in 1995, the station was intimately connected to the Gympie district's development of its mining, timber, dairying and agricultural industries.

"The platform complex is an intact component of a much larger former railway station established in 1881. Initially the terminus of the line from Maryborough, the station evolved following connections to Brisbane in 1891, the Mary Valley branch railway in 1915, and the extension of Queensland's coastal railway route.

"The platform complex dates largely from the 1910s, and was built in response to changing requirements associated with the expansion of Queensland's railway network. It reflects the important status of Gympie within this system."

Prof Coaldrake said the passenger station building, constructed in 1913, was architecturally important.

"The largely intact station building is derived from the Queensland Railways A series Pagoda style standard design and is considered rare in Queensland, as is the 1927 luggage lift connecting the platform and subway.

"The Valley Rattler steam train tours and rail motor rides have become a major tourist attraction for the region thanks to a large group of volunteers and trainees who help operate and maintain the line, rolling stock and buildings between Gympie and Imbil," he said.

The Mary Valley Heritage Railway began operations on the former Mary Valley branch line on May 23 1998. The cream sheds, at Amamoor, Kandanga and Melawondi, were built between the 1920s and 1940s in response to the strong growth of dairying in one of Queensland's most important dairying regions of the 20th century.

"The cream sheds, which are largely intact, illustrate the historical importance and role of railways in transporting dairy produce in Queensland.

"Until motorised transport options and improved roads were more common, transportation by rail was an efficient way of delivering cream to butter factories, with transport contractors and individual farmers able to deliver their cream direct to the nearest railhead. Cream sheds constructed along railway lines were widespread throughout Queensland during the 20th century," Prof Coaldrake said.

The Imbil railway bridge, constructed between 1911 and 1915, demonstrated the Queensland Government's policy of establishing branch railway lines to promote closer settlement.

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