Original Acland mine to be preserved

11 February 2014

The New Hope Group will preserve the original Acland underground mine pit head and buildings as part of the Acland Colliery Conservation Management Plan for the revised New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project.

The Conservation Management Plan provides a guide for New Hope’s management of the State significant cultural heritage values of Acland’s historic coal mine, which is owned by Acland Pastoral Company Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the New Hope Group.

New Hope’s Chief Operating Officer Bruce Denney said under the revised Project, the Acland town area, including Tom Doherty Park, the War Memorial and the Acland No.2 Colliery, would be left in place.

New Hope would maintain these properties to ensure their preservation into the future.

“The revised New Acland Project will also ensure that permanent access and utility services to Acland will be maintained over the life of the Project,” Mr Denney said.

Acland’s first mining shaft was sunk in 1913, but the history of coal mining in the areas surrounding Oakey dates back to the 1880s.

Coal mining developed significantly in the district during the 1920s with the industry guaranteeing the fortunes of the Acland township for half a century.

Acland’s population began to steadily decline in the 1960s with the closure of a number of collieries and the deregulation of the dairy industry.

The town suffered a further setback with the closure of the railway line from Oakey in 1969.

“The old Acland No.2 Colliery was the last underground mine to operate in the Acland area,” Mr Denney said.

“It used fairly antiquated mining methods, with the coal at the pit head being sorted by hand on a picking belt right up to its closure in 1984.”

The Former Acland No.2 Colliery is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and Toowoomba Regional Council's local heritage register.