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Beaudesert
Queensland
BeaudesertMainStreet.JPG
Main street of Beaudesert
Population 5,999 (2011 census)
Established 1870s
Postcode(s) 4285
Elevation 50 m (164 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Scenic Rim Region
State electorate(s) Beaudesert
Federal Division(s) Wright
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.6 °C
78 °F
12.6 °C
55 °F
905.4 mm
35.6 in

Beaudesert is a town and locality in the Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 census the town recorded a population of 5,999.

Geography

Beaudesert is located on the Mount Lindesay Highway, some 91 kilometres (57 mi) south of Brisbane. The area sources its income predominantly from rural activities such as cropping, grazing and equine activities, as well as tourism. It has a racecourse, 50-metre swimming pool, public library, two gyms and mountain scenery.

Wyaralong Dam 3
Wyaralong Dam, 2012

In the Logan River and Albert River valleys, Beaudesert is a regional hub serving surrounding communities such as Rathdowney, Kooralbyn, Canungra, Tamborine Mountain and Jimboomba. It is approximately 91 kilometres from Brisbane and connected by the Mount Lindesay Highway.

The town of Beaudesert is located 46 m above sea level and has an average annual rainfall of around 916 mm per year. The temperature is around 30 degrees in summer and falls to around three degrees in winter. Generally the weather is mild, but some severe storms can arrive each summer.

In the east of the locality is the decommissioned Nindooinbah Dam. The much larger Wyaralong Dam is situated roughly 14 km to the north west of the town and was completed in 2011.

History

StateLibQld 1 69363 Homestead at The Hollow near Beaudesert, ca. 1898
A homestead in the 1890s
StateLibQld 2 160924 View of Brisbane Street, Beaudesert, 1908
Brisbane Street, 1908

The town was settled in 1847 and has grown to a small, bustling centre.

The town is possibly named after Beau Desert Park, the property of Charles Henry Alexander Paget, 6th Marquess of Anglesey in Staffordshire, England. Yet it is certain that Queensland's Beaudesert was named in about 1841 or 1842 by 'Ned Hawkins', or Edward Brace Hawkins (1821–1849), who was claiming the area as a sheep station on behalf of his employer William Henry Suttor senior (1805–1877) at Bathurst. It is not known why Hawkins picked the name Beaudesert. He was himself born in Newark Upon Trent in Nottinghamshire, the son of Thomas Fitzherbert Hawkins and wife Elizabeth of Bathurst fame, and it does not seem that he or his family had any personal connections to Beaudesert in England. Ned Hawkins moved on, not long after taking up Beaudesert station, to take up Boonara Station in the South Burnett.

Beaudesert Tramway Station 1927
Beaudesert Tramway station in 1927

The town was originally set out in a grid pattern; however, several of the streets followed cart tracks. The area was originally settled for growing cotton and sheep. However, the area is also notoriously short of water and the cotton was not a successful crop. Hoop pine was very successfully collected from the area. In 1863 the cotton workers were indentured labourers from the South Sea Islands, the first such use in Queensland. In the 1880s, the Cobb and Co coaches ran between Beaudesert and Jimboomba. In 1885, the Beaudesert railway line was being pegged out and the railway was opened in 1888. Timber, cattle and dairying were the main industries in the area.

The Beaudesert Shire Tramway to Christmas Creek, Lamington and Rathdowney, operated by the Beaudesert Shire, opened in 1903 and closed in 1944. A local newspaper, the Beaudesert Times was established in 1908.

From the nineteenth century through to the 1980s, it was a thriving centre with a shoe factory and meat works as well as markets, a hospital and an ambulance service. The Enright family managed a major department store. The Blunck family managed an electrical store and a car servicing and sales business. As in many areas, globalisation has seen local factories and family-owned business taken over and closed with profits leaving the town where once they would have been reinvested.

Even though the area was known as Beau-desert (beautiful desert), the droughts and the floods were continuous problems in the area. In times of flood, houses, animals and people were washed away. The damage caused by floods is often recounted in historical documentation.

The Biddaddaba History Group brought together the history of the area from the earliest settlement of white people up to 1990 in a comprehensive book available from libraries.

Located in the Beaudesert Historical Museum is the Milbanks Pioneer Cottage. This cottage was originally built in 1875 by Patrick Milbanks on his Kerry property, out of local hand hewn timbers, slats and shingle roof. It has four-poster bed, large cedar sideboard and numerous articles that portray the life of the early pioneers. It was donated to the museum by Patrick Milbanks's grandchildren and relocated to its present site in 1979.

Queensland State Archives 601 Gardens of Nindooinbah House Nindooinbah Connection Road Nindooinbah Beaudesert December 1939
Nindooinbah House, 1939
BeaudesertWarMemorial
Beaudesert War Memorial

The Beaudesert War Museum was unveiled on 28 September 1921 by Queensland Governor Matthew Nathan.

Year Event
1842 Nindooinbah was settled
1850 Nindooinbah original homestead was built
1885 Beaudesert Hotel (burned down in 1940 and replaced)
1901 St Marys Primary School opened.
1903 Beaudesert Shire Tramway opened
1904 The Logan and Albert Co-operative Butter Factory opened and closed 1987.
1919 Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch in Jane Street
1927 Visit by The Duke and Duchess of York
1934 L & A Hotel opened
1944 Beaudesert Shire Tramway closed
1964 Beaudesert High School
1993 A J Bush. Destroyed by fire in 2001. Reopened in 2002
1995 Gelita opened

Heritage listings

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

  • Albert Street: Beaudesert Showgrounds
  • 7-9 Albert Street: St Thomas’ Anglican Church
  • 3180 Beaudesert-Boonah Road: Beaudesert Racecourse and Grandstand
  • 33 Brisbane Street: Beaudesert Masonic Centre
  • 80 Brisbane Street: Beaudesert Hotel
  • 82 & 84 Brisbane Street: Scenic Rim Regional Council Chambers
  • Bromelton Street: St Mary's Catholic Church
  • William Street: Beaudesert War Memorial

Bromelton State Development Area

Bromelton SDA was declared in 2008, and covers 15,000 hectares of land approximately six kilometres west of Beaudesert. About 1,800 hectares has been earmarked for industrial development. It will accommodate industrial activities of regional, state and national significance, maximising the use of the areas existing standard gauge rail. The railline connects Bromelton to the Port of Brisbane, to other parts of Queensland, and to other States.

Mirvac has commenced work on a site bordered by Sandy Creek Road and Beaudesert Boonah Road. The Bromelton SDA applications will be reviewed by the Co-ordinator General for approval. The Scenic Rim Regional Council will be responsible for operational works, clearing of vegetation, plumbing and Reconfiguration of Lots (ROLs) applications after the MCUs have been approved by the State Government.

Population

Year Population
1881 25
1891 450
1911 1,330
1947 1,548
1961 2,930
1991 4,028
2001 4,460
2006 5,388
2011 6,000

Transport

Bus

A bus runs from Beaudesert to Browns Plains and Brisbane on weekdays. Centacare St Mary's Community Services and the Beaudesert RSL provide transport for aged, disabled, veterans and hospital/respite requirements.

Rail

The main standard gauge Brisbane-Sydney railway line runs through Bromelton, a few kilometres west of Beaudesert. This line is used by Countrylink's Sydney-Brisbane XPT passenger train and Pacific National's (owned by Toll and Lang Corp) Brisbane – Sydney, Brisbane – Melbourne, Brisbane – Wollongong and Brisbane – Adelaide and return freight train services. The passenger service no longer stops at Bromelton.

A branch railway line ran from the outer Brisbane suburb of Bethania to Beaudesert and was in regular use from 1886 to 1996. Until 1991 it had served the meat-packing plant on the outskirts of the town.

A petition from railway enthusiasts, and considerable grants of government money, resulted in its re-opening in 1999. Beaudesert Rail operated steam-driven tourist trains on the line for a short while thereafter. The company ceased operating in August 2004 after a series of fires, allegedly lit by sparks from the train, were set along the train line. The company was in debt and has ceased to exist, with the rolling stock liquidated and physical infrastructure demolished. Beaudesert Rail had also been trading while insolvent, resulting in the closure of several local business who had extended them credit.

Community Groups

The Arts Centre hosts a number of community groups and there is a wide range of community activity including a very active Bush Bards group.

Sport and recreation

A number of well-known sporting teams represent the local area, including the Beaudesert Kingfishers who play home games at R.S. Willis Park.

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