Acland, Queensland

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Acland No. 2 Colliery (former) (2006).jpg
Acland No. 2 Colliery, 2006
Acland is located in Queensland
Coordinates27°18′13″S 151°41′27″E / 27.30361°S 151.69083°E / -27.30361; 151.69083Coordinates: 27°18′13″S 151°41′27″E / 27.30361°S 151.69083°E / -27.30361; 151.69083
Population32 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density0.836/km2 (2.16/sq mi)
Area38.3 km2 (14.8 sq mi)
Location160 km (99 mi) W of Brisbane
LGA(s)Toowoomba Region
State electorate(s)Condamine
Federal Division(s)Groom

Acland is a small town north of Oakey, on the Darling Downs, 160 kilometres (100 mi) west of Queensland's state capital, Brisbane. It is within the local government area of Toowoomba Region.[2] At the 2016 census, Acland had a population of 32.[1]

Originally built to support what would become Queensland's oldest continuously worked coal mine, the town had a population of between 200 and 400 prior to the mine being shut down in 1984. In 2008 almost all properties comprising the town were purchased by the new mine operators with the intention that they be demolished as the open cut mine expands into the town site. By 2009 there was only one remaining resident, Glenn Beutel, who had refused the company's offer to purchase his property.


The town is Acland is believed to be named by then Commission of Railways, Charles Barnard Evans, whose mother's maiden was Acland.[3][4]

Acland town developed following the mining of coal in the area by the Acland Coal Company.[5] The town had a police officer by 1913, at which time there was also a primary school nearby, known as Lagoon Creek.[6] Acland Railway Station Post Office opened on 1 May 1913. It was replaced by Acland Post Office in 1969, which closed October 1998.[7][8]

The Acland number two colliery opened in 1929,[9] and in the 1940s and 1950s it employed 52 people.[5] In 1952, several buildings in the town were damaged by a tornado;[10] radio broadcaster Alan Jones described it as "Australia's only inland tornado" and that it "flattened" the town, with sufficient strength to lift a farm water tank off its stand.[11]

By 1971, with demand for coal for transport in decline, Acland was home to the only remaining coalmine on the Darling Downs.[9] The mine was Queensland's "oldest and smallest continuously worked coal mine" at the time of its closure in 1984.[12] The old colliery is state heritage-listed, being "the most intact mine site of its age and type in Queensland".[9][13] From the mine's closure in 1984, to the sale of the site to the Shire of Rosalie in 2000, the workings were operated as a mining museum by Kath and John Greenhalgh, the owners of the farm on which the mine was located.[9] In September 2006 Kath & John Greenhalgh sold the land to New Acland Pastoral Company.[14]

In the 1980s Acland was a six-time winner of the Queensland Tidy Town Award for towns with a population between 200 and 400,[10] and the inaugural overall Tidy Town prize in 1989.[12]

In 1999, New Hope Coal moved into the area and established the New Acland Mine, an open cut coal mine that since 2005 has been New Hope's main coal producing operation.[15] Anticipating major expansion, the company began to purchase houses in Acland in advance of the area becoming an open cut mine pit, expected to produce 10 million tonnes of coal each year. Ahead of the mine's development, several Queensland bottle trees were prepared for transplantation to the new National Arboretum in Canberra.[16]

In December 2008 Glenn Beutel was the only remaining homeowner, having rejected the company's offer to purchase his house.[5] In mid-2010 Beutel continued to resist the company's offers, and was reported to still be maintaining the local park established by his parents.[17][18] On Monday 4 June 2012, during a live broadcast of ABC show Q&A from Toowoomba's Empire Theatre, a question was asked by an audience member which made reference to Glenn Beutel being the last resident of Acland [19]

Acland State School opened on 21 February 1921.[20] A declining population meant the primary school had just 12 students by 2004, leading to its closure on 31 December 2004.[21][20] The school's most notable former student was controversial Australian radio broadcaster, Alan Jones,[21] who started at the school in 1946.[22]

Heritage listings[edit]

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


Acland lies north of Oakey, on the Darling Downs, 160 kilometres (100 mi) west of Queensland's state capital, Brisbane. Originally known as Lagoon Creek,[24] it lies in pasture country where there has been some dairy farming, horse breeding and coal mining.[25][26] Rainfall was measured at the post office between 1912 and 1993, recording an average annual rainfall of 690 millimetres (27 in).[27]

In the 1980s the town was classed as having a population of between 200 and 400,[10] however it reported a population of just 53 in the 2006 census.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Acland (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 November 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Acland (entry 42711)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  3. ^ "SKETCHER". The Queenslander. 28 March 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 16 April 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Bernard Charles Acland". 1921/B33745. Queensland Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Logan, Madeleine. "Acland is a lonely place". Toowoomba Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  6. ^ Masters, pp 5, 6, 14.
  7. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  8. ^ Greenhalgh, Kath (2011). Acland from Coal Town to Tidy Town. Oakey Qld.: Bernborough Press. ISBN 9780646562193.
  9. ^ a b c d "Acland No. 2 Colliery (former) (entry 602599)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Watson, Judy (13 August 1989). "Gritty gran carves out an oasis". The Sunday Mail (Brisbane).
  11. ^ Masters, p. 21.
  12. ^ a b Nason, James (6 November 2008). "The coal truth of life next to a mine". Country Life.
  13. ^ Morley, Peter (18 October 2008). "Lone stand as coalminers poised to bulldoze Acland". Courier Mail (Brisbane). Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  14. ^ "Opponents wary as plans instill new hope in coal mine". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  15. ^ New Hope Corporation (2005). Directors' Annual Report and Financial Statements 2005 (PDF). Brisbane: New Hope Corporation. pp. 2–4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  16. ^ Stewart, Frances (9 May 2010). "Orphaned trees find a home at National Arboretum". Sunday Canberra Times. p. 20.
  17. ^ Houghton, Des (3 April 2010). "Glen Beutel yet to sell home as Acland coal mine closes in". The Courier Mail. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  18. ^ Taylor, John (3 May 2010). "Fighting to keep Acland alive". 7:30 Report. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  19. ^ "ABC Q&A Episode broadcast live from Toowoomba's Empire Theatre on 4 June 2012 – click on link and go to 30:33". Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Closing of school shows neglect of bush: Jones". Toowoomba Chronicle. 3 December 2004. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  22. ^ Masters, p. 36.
  23. ^ "Acland No. 2 Colliery (former) (entry 602599)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Mr D. Connell (obituary)". The Brisbane Courier. 31 January 1931. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  25. ^ "Downs Breeders – Great Record". The Brisbane Courier. 4 June 1930. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  26. ^ Masters, pp 3–12.
  27. ^ Masters, p. 14
  28. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Acland (Rosalie Shire) (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 September 2011.


  • Masters, Chris (2006). Jonestown: The Power and the Myth of Alan Jones. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74175-320-2.

External links[edit]

Media related to Acland, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons