Acland, Queensland facts for kids

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Acland
Queensland
Acland No. 2 Colliery (former) (2006).jpg
Acland No. 2 Colliery, 2006
Population: 208
Established: 1912
Postcode: 4401
Location: 160 km (99 mi) W of Brisbane
LGA: Toowoomba Regional Council
State District: Nanango
Federal Division: Groom

Acland is a small town north of Oakey, on the Darling Downs, 160 kilometres (100 mi) west of Queensland's state capital, Brisbane. It is within the local government area of Toowoomba Region. At the 2011 census, Acland had a population of 208.

Originally built to support what would become Queensland's oldest continuously worked coal mine, the town had a population of between 200 and 400 prior to the mine being shut down in 1984. In 2008 almost all properties comprising the town were purchased by the new mine operators with the intention that they be demolished as the open cut mine expands into the town site. By 2009 there was only one remaining resident, Glenn Beutel, who had refused the company's offer to purchase his property.

History

The town is Acland is believed to be named by then Commission of Railways, Charles Barnard Evans, whose mother's maiden was Acland.

Acland town developed following the mining of coal in the area by the Acland Coal Company. The town had a police officer by 1913, at which time there was also a primary school nearby, known as Lagoon Creek. Acland Railway Station Post Office opened on 1 May 1913. It was replaced by Acland Post Office in 1969, which closed October 1998.

The Acland number two colliery opened in 1929, and in the 1940s and 1950s it employed 52 people. In 1952, several buildings in the town were damaged by a tornado; radio broadcaster Alan Jones described it as "Australia's only inland tornado" and that it "flattened" the town, with sufficient strength to lift a farm water tank off its stand.

By 1971, with demand for coal for transport in decline, Acland was home to the only remaining coalmine on the Darling Downs. The mine was Queensland's "oldest and smallest continuously worked coal mine" at the time of its closure in 1984. The old colliery is state heritage-listed, being "the most intact mine site of its age and type in Queensland". From the mine's closure in 1984, to the sale of the site to the Shire of Rosalie in 2000, the workings were operated as a mining museum by Kath and John Greenhalgh, the owners of the farm on which the mine was located. In September 2006 Kath & John Greenhalgh sold the land to New Acland Pastoral Company.

In the 1980s Acland was a six-time winner of the Queensland Tidy Town Award for towns with a population between 200 and 400, and the inaugural overall Tidy Town prize in 1989.

In 1999, New Hope Coal moved into the area and established the New Acland Mine, an open cut coal mine that since 2005 has been New Hope's main coal producing operation. Anticipating major expansion, the company began to purchase houses in Acland in advance of the area becoming an open cut mine pit, expected to produce 10 million tonnes of coal each year. Ahead of the mine's development, several Queensland bottle trees were prepared for transplantation to the new National Arboretum in Canberra.

In December 2008 Glenn Beutel was the only remaining homeowner, having rejected the company's offer to purchase his house. In mid-2010 Beutel continued to resist the company's offers, and was reported to still be maintaining the local park established by his parents. On Monday 4 June 2012, during a live broadcast of ABC show Q&A from Toowoomba's Empire Theatre, a question was asked by an audience member which made reference to Glenn Beutel being the last resident of Acland

A declining population meant the primary school had just 12 students by 2004, leading to its closure. The school's most notable former student was controversial Australian radio broadcaster, Alan Jones, who started at the school in 1946.

Heritage listings

Acland has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

  • 2 Francis Street: Acland No. 2 Colliery

Geography

Acland lies north of Oakey, on the Darling Downs, 160 kilometres (100 mi) west of Queensland's state capital, Brisbane. Originally known as Lagoon Creek, it lies in pasture country where there has been some dairy farming, horse breeding and coal mining. Rainfall was measured at the post office between 1912 and 1993, recording an average annual rainfall of 690 millimetres (27 in).

In the 1980s the town was classed as having a population of between 200 and 400, however it reported a population of just 53 in the 2006 census.


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