Mine shaft repairs to preserve Herberton heritage values


Hikers and explorers will benefit from improved safety with the backfilling of almost old 50 mine shafts along the Great Northern Walking Trails around Herberton.


Assistant Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Seath Holswich said the Newman Government had a strong plan for the tourism and resources industries and would deliver a brighter and safer future for rural and regional Queensland.


“At the 2012 election, we committed to support and grow these pillars the Queensland economy, and this includes the safe remediation of abandoned mines,” Mr Holswich said.


“These works will ensure these walking tracks remain a safe and enjoyable tourist attraction.”


Mr Holswich said the works would see the heritage values of the former mining sites maintained.


“Some of the shafts are more than 20 metres deep and are right on or beside the popular walking track,” he said.


“These long-abandoned historic mine shafts have to be filled to ensure people can enjoy the walking tracks.”


Member for Cook David Kempton said the mine shaft remediation project would be completed by the Abandoned Mines Unit of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines through its ongoing Abandoned Mine Lands Program.


“The unit has worked with the Tableland Regional Council, the Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre and the Far North Queensland Historic Mining Group to ensure the heritage values of the sites are protected as much as possible,” Mr Kempton said.


“It has been agreed the work will backfill shafts to within a metre of the surface, significantly reducing safety risks but retaining the heritage values of the old shafts.


“Any waste rock dug from the shafts during mining that is visible from the Great Northern Walking Trails will also be retained.”


Tableland Regional Council Councillor Shaaron Linwood welcomed the project and said consultation between the department and the various groups had produced a worthwhile outcome.


“We are happy that the department is progressing with sensitivity in an area that holds such high heritage values from our important mining history,” Cr Linwood said.


The latest work in Herberton builds upon a previous shaft-filling program in the Herberton area in 2012 when 10-15 shafts in the Silver Valley area and four shafts near a riding trail closer to Herberton where backfilled.


More information on the management of Queensland’s abandoned mines is available at www.dnrm.qld.gov.au.