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Blackwater, Queensland facts for kids

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Population 5,100 (2011 census)
Postcode(s) 4717
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 both a town and a locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. It is the major town in a significant coal mining area in Central Queensland. At the 2011 census, Blackwater had a population of 5,100.


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.

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