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Emerald
Queensland
Irish Village pub
Emerald Town Hall
Emerald Art Gallery
Emerald Railway Station
From left to right;
Irish Village pub, Emerald Town Hall
Emerald Art Gallery, Emerald Railway Station
Emerald is located in Queensland
Emerald
Emerald
Location in Queensland
Population
 • Density 23.4921/km2 (60.844/sq mi)
Established 1879
Postcode(s) 4720
Elevation 189 m (620 ft)
Area 611.1 km2 (235.9 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Central Highlands Region
State electorate(s) Gregory
Federal Division(s) Flynn
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
29.4 °C
85 °F
15.0 °C
59 °F
641.2 mm
25.2 in
Localities around Emerald:
Fork Lagoons Wyuna Comet
Anakie Siding Emerald Comet
Gindie Gindie Comet

Emerald is a rural town and locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census the locality of Emerald had a population of 14,356 people. As at June 2018, Emerald had an estimated urban population of 14,119.

The town is the headquarters for the Central Highlands Regional Council.

History

The area was originally owned by Aboriginal groups (for example, the Gayiri) for tens of thousands of years before European colonisation in the nineteenth century.

The first European to explore the area was Ludwig Leichhardt between 1843 and 1845. The British Colony of Queensland was established in 1859. Emerald was established in 1879 as a base for the Central line from Rockhampton. Emerald Post Office opened on 5 June 1879.

Fairbairn Dam overflowed for the first time in 17 years on 19 January 2008. Major flooding in Emerald occurred a few days after as the Nogoa River broke its banks. The floods resulted in 1,000 houses being affected and more than 2,500 people being evacuated. The 2008 floods did not reach the heights of flooding in previous years.

Some of the recorded floods have occurred in the region in 1863, 1864, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1875, 1876, 1878, 1882, 1887, 1890, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1906, 1912, 1918, 1920s, 1950 (where 1103.77 mm rain was recorded in Queensand), 1956 was the wettest year on record with 1032.29 mm rainfall. The 1970s also had similar rainfall to the 1860s and 1870s.

Previous to the 1990s, flood damage to residential properties was almost non-existent. The biggest impact from flooding of the Nogoa River in Emerald itself was that one side of Emerald was cut off from the other and caravans at the Carinya Caravan Park would be towed to higher ground each time the Nogoa River rose, to prevent the caravans from being completely submerged. This caravan park is now the site of the Centro Property where Coles Supermarket and other businesses trade from. The swamp area is now part of Kidd Street, a housing development, in which an old river course ran into. The creek that ran along the back of the hospital, past the rear of Woolworths and past the Information Centre has been filled in turned into a channel with a section cemented on one side near the information centre, reducing the channel in size by approx two-thirds. This area has been allowed to be developed. This creek was renamed Creek Street for a short section.

Heritage listings

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

Climate

Emerald has a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and mild, dry winters. Maximum temperatures range from 34 °C in January to 22 °C in July, while minimums range from 22 °C to 7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 641.2 mm. The wettest year on record was 1407.2 mm in 1956. Extremes of temperature have ranged from 49.9 °C to −5.6 °C, while the wettest 24 hours on record was 182.0 mm on 25 February 1975.

Climate data for Emerald
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 48.6
(119.5)
44.8
(112.6)
42.9
(109.2)
38.1
(100.6)
33.5
(92.3)
31.7
(89.1)
32.8
(91)
38.2
(100.8)
39.7
(103.5)
41.7
(107.1)
44.6
(112.3)
46.2
(115.2)
48.6
(119.5)
Average high °C (°F) 34.2
(93.6)
33.2
(91.8)
32.0
(89.6)
29.4
(84.9)
25.7
(78.3)
22.7
(72.9)
22.4
(72.3)
24.8
(76.6)
28.3
(82.9)
31.6
(88.9)
33.7
(92.7)
34.8
(94.6)
29.4
(84.9)
Average low °C (°F) 21.7
(71.1)
21.0
(69.8)
19.4
(66.9)
15.7
(60.3)
11.5
(52.7)
8.4
(47.1)
6.9
(44.4)
8.1
(46.6)
11.8
(53.2)
16.0
(60.8)
18.9
(66)
20.4
(68.7)
15.0
(59)
Record low °C (°F) 7.8
(46)
6.7
(44.1)
7.2
(45)
0.0
(32)
-1.2
(29.8)
-3.9
(25)
-5.6
(21.9)
-3.6
(25.5)
-2.2
(28)
2.2
(36)
1.8
(35.2)
7.2
(45)
-5.6
(21.9)
Rainfall mm (inches) 103.4
(4.071)
99.7
(3.925)
69.3
(2.728)
35.9
(1.413)
35.2
(1.386)
33.9
(1.335)
28.8
(1.134)
20.7
(0.815)
25.3
(0.996)
39.2
(1.543)
58.8
(2.315)
91.0
(3.583)
641.2
(25.244)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 8.3 7.7 6.1 3.8 3.7 3.3 3.2 2.8 2.8 4.6 5.8 7.4 59.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Attractions

To the west of the town is an area known as The Gemfields, with small towns such as Sapphire and Rubyvale indicating the type of gems found there. The sapphire fields located here are the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The Fairbairn Dam, a short drive to the south of the town, was opened in 1972, and holds back the waters of Lake Maraboon. The lake covers an area of up to 150 km², making it one of the largest artificial lakes in the country. When full, it holds more water than Sydney Harbour. This extensive water supply has allowed the cotton industry to flourish in the area, and the lake is a boon for local water sports.

Education

Emerald State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Anakie Street (23°31′25″S 148°09′38″E / 23.5237°S 148.1605°E / -23.5237; 148.1605 (Emerald State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 316 students with 25 teachers (21 full-time equivalent) and 14 non-teaching staff (8 full-time equivalent).

Emerald North State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at Campbell Street (23°30′48″S 148°09′51″E / 23.5132°S 148.1641°E / -23.5132; 148.1641 (Emerald North State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 249 students with 25 teachers (23 full-time equivalent) and 29 non-teaching staff (18 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Denison State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 16 Gray Street (23°31′56″S 148°09′04″E / 23.5322°S 148.1512°E / -23.5322; 148.1512 (Denison State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 497 students with 36 teachers (33 full-time equivalent) and 20 non-teaching staff (14 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Capricornia School of Distance Education is a government primary and secondary (Early Childhood-12) school for boys and girls at the corner Gray and Gladstone Streets (23°31′56″S 148°09′07″E / 23.5323°S 148.1520°E / -23.5323; 148.1520 (Capricornia School of Distance Education)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 775 students with 72 teachers (64 full-time equivalent) and 21 non-teaching staff (15 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program. The school operates from the Denison State School campus.

Emerald State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Old Airport Drive (23°30′49″S 148°09′30″E / 23.5136°S 148.1582°E / -23.5136; 148.1582 (Emerald State High School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 780 students with 62 teachers (59 full-time equivalent) and 33 non-teaching staff (22 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

St Patrick's Catholic Primary School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 41 Yamala Street (23°31′24″S 148°09′44″E / 23.5233°S 148.1621°E / -23.5233; 148.1621 (St Patrick's Catholic Primary School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 491 students with 31 teachers (29 full-time equivalent) and 16 non-teaching staff (9 full-time equivalent).

St Brigid's Catholic Primary School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Gregory Highway (23°33′35″S 148°10′11″E / 23.5597°S 148.1696°E / -23.5597; 148.1696 (St Brigid's Catholic Primary School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 202 students with 16 teachers (15 full-time equivalent) and 8 non-teaching staff (5 full-time equivalent).

Marist College Emerald is a Catholic secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Jeppesen Drive (23°32′37″S 148°09′33″E / 23.5435°S 148.1592°E / -23.5435; 148.1592 (Marist College)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 569 students with 50 teachers (47 full-time equivalent) and 25 non-teaching staff (19 full-time equivalent).

Emerald Christian College is a private primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at Lot 2 Gregory Highway (23°33′10″S 148°10′15″E / 23.5528°S 148.1708°E / -23.5528; 148.1708 (Emerald Christian College)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 196 students with 22 teachers (20 full-time equivalent) and 18 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent).

Ontrack is a private primary and secondary (5-10) school at 114 Borilla Street (23°31′36″S 148°09′41″E / 23.5266°S 148.1614°E / -23.5266; 148.1614 (Ontrack)). It seeks to provide for students from Years 6 to 10 who have disengaged from mainstream schools.

The small community of Gindie exists approximately 23 kilometres (14 mi) south of Emerald on the Gregory Highway. It is also home to a primary school established in 1897, Gindie State School. The school closed in 1949 and subsequently reopened.

Central Queensland University has a campus in Emerald.

Notable residents

  • Ethan Bullemor, Australian Rugby League player
  • Mitchell Langerak, Australian footballer
  • Alan McIndoe, Australian Rugby League player
Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Civil Rights Activists:
Myrlie Evers-Williams
Aaron Henry
T. R. M. Howard
Jesse Jackson
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