Burrum Area Info
Howard, Torbanlea Area Queensland Australia

Howard, Queesnland. Australia

Torbanlea, Queensland. Australia

305 km north of Brisbane. County : Cook . Parish : Burrum. Height above sea level 13.1 metres ( 52 feet )

Howard was for many years the centre of the historic Burrum Coal Mining region, which since 1865 has seen 94 shaft and tunnel mines extract over 14 million tons of rich coal from nine seams. By 1997, due to the advent of diesel, gas and modern technology the last of these mines was in its twilight days. Brothers John and Robert Miller first discovered coal there in 1863 while cutting local timber for posts, rails, slabs and shingles for district houses. They were denied mining rights when Parlimenterian William Walsh allegedly applied for their lease in his name. Walsh later engaged Welsh miner Abel Steley on a 50 - 50 basis to work his claim but again is alleged to have reneged on the payment of any monies due to Steley. William Howard travelled through the area in 1857 to go on and discover the rich Isis Scrub (Childers). he later owned owned mining leases in the area. Yorkshireman Henry Smith and wife Elizabeth took up land on the Burrum river which runs alongside the town and became the area's first farmers. Citrus growing soon took over from timber getting as the district's second industry after coal.Although a number of syndicates secured mining leases over the years, QueenslandCollieries Co. Ltd., Burgowan Collieries and Howard Collieries Ltd. were the three major and the only long-term successful ones. Queensland Collieries worked mainly in the Howard area, Burgowan around Torbanlea and Howard along the river. At the turn of the century Howard'spopulation topped 600 and as late as 1953 over 350 men were employed on the mines.

301 km north of Brisbane. Height above sea level 26.2 metres ( 104 feet )

Some interesting facts about the area.

* At one stage about 25% of Queensland coal was raised on the Burrum.
* The first pit ponies in Australian mines were introduced here in the 1890's.
* The last pick and shovel mine in Australia closed down here in 1976.
* Two men who went on to become Prime Minister (Andrew Fisher and Billy Hughes) both lived and worked here.
* The Ellendale mandarine (Australia's biggest seller) was developed on Ellendale Farm, Burrum.
* The local climate recognized as Australia's most equable.
* The local economy is recognized as among Australia's lowest.
* The Burrum region is within an hour's drive of four provincial cities and three and a half north of Brisbane, Queensland. It has all domestic and commercial facilities except a bank.

Further information is available from the Howard or Burrum Museums.

I'd like to send a special thanks to Jack Valli he supplied all the info on this page. 


Local Charity BBS "Burrum Benevolent Society"

You are Visitor # Hit Counter

This page was last updated on Sunday, 04 July 2004 11:54:20 AM