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Blackwater, Queensland facts for kids

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Blackwater sign.jpg
Sign at the entrance to Blackwater, 2018
Blackwater is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Population 4,749 (2016 census)
 • Density 7.2305/km2 (18.727/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 4717
Area 656.8 km2 (253.6 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Central Highlands Region
State electorate(s) Gregory
Federal Division(s) Flynn
Localities around Blackwater:
Mackenzie River Mackenzie River Jellinbah
Mackenzie River Blackwater Bluff
Comet Stewarton Stewarton

Blackwater is a rural town and locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Blackwater had a population of 4,749 people.

It is a town in a significant coal mining area in Central Queensland. The name of the township was inspired by the dark colour of local waterholes.


Six major open cut coal mines and one underground dot the landscape surrounding the town and provide its main employment opportunities. The town is also situated close to the Blackdown Tableland National Park which lies to the southeast and Blackwater coal mine located south of the town. Emerald is 74 kilometres (46 mi) to the west.


Blackwater is named after the Blackwater Creek which apparently was first observed to flow with black water, believed to be caused by the local coal deposits.

Coal deposits were discovered there by Ludwig Leichhardt on his expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington (now Darwin, Northern Territory) in 1845. Leichhardt saw "beds of coal indistinguishable from those on the Hunter at Newcastle".

It wasn't until over a century after Leichhardt first discovered the beds of coal at Blackwater that the town saw major coal mining development. With the opening up of several coal mines near the town in the 1960s, Blackwater's population rapidly increased as people searching for work flocked to find employment in the town's booming mining industry. There were 77 people living in Blackwater when the 1961 census was recorded. This increased to almost 2,000 when the 1971 census was recorded.

The town's population peaked in the early 1990s with 6,760 people living in Blackwater in 1991. Since then, the population of the town has gradually waned. In the 2011 census, there were still over 5,000 people living in the Blackwater community.

Blackwater Post Office opened on 19 July 1877.


Blackwater State High School
Blackwater State High School, 2018

Blackwater State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Wey Street (23°35′00″S 148°52′40″E / 23.5834°S 148.8778°E / -23.5834; 148.8778 (Blackwater State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 183 students with 14 teachers and 18 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent).

Blackwater North State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at William Street (23°33′58″S 148°53′11″E / 23.5662°S 148.8864°E / -23.5662; 148.8864 (Blackwater North State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 397 students with 27 teachers (26 full-time equivalent) and 19 non-teaching staff (13 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Blackwater State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Elm Street (23°34′21″S 148°52′58″E / 23.5724°S 148.8827°E / -23.5724; 148.8827 (Blackwater State High School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 316 students with 36 teachers (35 full-time equivalent) and 24 non-teaching staff (17 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Notable people from Blackwater

Olympic track cyclist Anna Meares was born in Blackwater in 1983. In 2012, Anna Meares had a street named after her in the town when Meares Street was constructed as part of a new subdivision in the centre of Blackwater.

Australian television personality, actor and comedian Josh Thomas was born in Blackwater in 1987 but moved with his family to Brisbane soon after.

Australian rugby league players PJ Marsh and David Taylor both grew up in Blackwater and have represented various teams in the National Rugby League competition.

Wayne Denning was born in Blackwater. He established the award-winning creative agency Carbon Creative.

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