Burdekin Hotel, Ayr, 2010
|Population||8,281 (2016 census)|
|• Density||266.3/km2 (689.6/sq mi)|
|Elevation||12.0 m (39 ft)|
|Area||31.1 km2 (12.0 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Burdekin|
Ayr is located 88 kilometres (55 mi) south of Townsville on the Bruce Highway and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) away from the (smaller) town of Home Hill. It is 112 kilometres (70 mi) north of Bowen and 290 kilometres (180 mi) north of Mackay. Ayr is located near the delta of the Burdekin River. It is within the Burdekin Shire, which produces the most sugar cane per square kilometre in Australia utilising underground water supplies and water from the Burdekin Dam to irrigate crops when rains fail.
Alva beach, a popular area for fishing and swimming, is located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) east of Ayr.
Ayr Post Office opened on 25 August 1883.
Ayr State School opened on 15 November 1886. In 1928 it was expanded to include a secondary school. In 1937, the secondary school became a separate entity, Ayr State High School. East Ayr State School opened on 8 August 1952. Ayr Opportunity School opened for children with disabilities in 1972. It was renamed Burdekin Special School in about 1985. In 2001 the name was changed to Burdekin School.
In June 2018, the town become the center of controversy when a racist poster was placed up in one of the shops, telling foreigners and backpackers that they're not welcomed. Within hours, Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin condemned the people responsible for the poster.
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 8,281 people in the Ayr urban centre.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.7% of the population.
- 82.4% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was Italy at 2.1 %.
- 85.4% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Italian at 2.8%.
- The most common responses for religion were Catholic 37.3%, Anglican 15.7% and No Religion 15.0%.
Ayr has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 163 Queen Street: Ayr Court House
- 82-90 Wickham Street: Ayr State High School
- 145 Young Street: Burdekin Shire Council Chambers
Ayr has several state primary schools (Ayr, East Ayr, Kalamia and several others in surrounding areas) and two non-government primary schools, St Francis School (Catholic) and Burdekin Christian College.
Ayr State School opened on 15 November 1886.
Ayr has one state high school and one non-government high school. Ayr State High School was the 8th public secondary high school in Queensland. The non-government high school is called the Burdekin Catholic High School.
Ayr is home to a small, state owned hospital. The one-storey building offers basic emergency care. The hospital features a helipad, which is utilized during more serious emergencies.
The A1 passes through the town. This, mostly two laned highway, is the major road of the Burdekin. It links Ayr with neighboring Brandon and Home Hill. Ayr's main street, Queen street, is a wide two laned street capable of handling a large amount of slow travelling cars.
Ayr Railway Station is the town's rail transit stop. Regular services run from Brisbane to Cairns.
While the town has no public transport, several bus routes pick up school children across the region.
A wide variety of sports are played in Ayr, including Touch football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, tennis and golf. Netball and Table Tennis (ping pong) are also popular. The Ayr Surf Life Saving club is a small yet highly established club.
Ayr is home to one newspaper. The Ayr Advocate has a Burdekin-wide circulation of just under 4000 people. The paper is published by Sydney-based News Corporation, and has three full-time journalists.
The town is home to the centre-right satirical publication The Burdekin Herald which was launched in 2013. In January 2014 the Burdekin Herald published an article claiming that the conservative Queensland government was going to introduce 22 000 poisonous snakes into homes to rid the state of cane toads.
Ayr has the usual chain stores, including Domino's Pizza, ten pin bowling, a toyshop, cinema, six pubs, and a range of sports, electrical and fashion stores. Ayr has several banks including the Commonwealth, ANZ, Suncorp, National and Bendigo Bank. The Burdekin Shire Council operates a public library in Ayr at 108 Graham Street. Burdekin Library opened in 1984.
Notable people from Ayr
- Zachary Anderson: professional football player - Central Coast Mariners
- Patricia Cockrem: former Australian basketball player
- Mark Dalle Cort: rugby league and union player
- Matthew Ham: professional football player - North Queensland Fury
- Shane Muspratt: professional rugby league player
- Kel O'Shea: Australian representative rugby league player
- Ryan Phelan: journalist and television presenter
- Don Walker: musician/songwriter - Cold Chisel
- Karrie Webb: professional golfer, member of LPGA Hall of Fame.
- SS Gothenburg which was wrecked off the coast of Ayr
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Ayr (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Ayr - town in Shire of Burdekin (entry 1066)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Ayr - locality in Shire of Burdekin (entry 49421)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
- "Overview". St Francis School, Ayr. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Principal's Welcome". Burdekin Catholic High School. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "NEWS OF THE NORTH". Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). Qld.: National Library of Australia. 27 November 1925. p. 9. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- "War Memorial Arch". Monument Australia. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Backpackers express frustration over racist poster (News.com.au)
- "Ayr Court House (entry 601126)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Ayr State High School (entry 601574)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Burdekin Shire Council Chambers (entry 601922)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Kalamia SS". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Opening and closing dates of Queensland schools (A)". education.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- "Schools opening dates". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "'Government to introduce 22 000 Black Mambas to help eradicate cane toads' Article is Satire". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Satire - 'Black Mambas to Help Eradicate Cane Toads'". www.hoax-slayer.com. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Burdekin Library Public Libraries Connect". Public Libraries Connect. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Queensland Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-2017" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. November 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2005). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players - Wests Tigers. Melbourne, Victoria: Bas Publishing. pp. 191–192. ISBN 1-920910-61-1.
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