Ben Lomond, New South Wales
New South Wales
Ben Lomond Church with The Brothers Mountain to the right
|Population||436 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||1,400 m (4,593 ft)|
|State electorate(s)||Northern Tablelands|
|Federal Division(s)||New England|
Ben Lomond is a village on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The village is situated 6 km off the New England Highway between Armidale and Glen Innes. It is located in Guyra Shire, with parts of the surrounding district in Glen Innes Severn Shire and Inverell Shire. It is primarily a farming area, with most of the residents involved in sheep, cattle and grain farming.
Ben Lomond Village is at 1,370 m elevation, making it the highest village in northern New South Wales. As such, even though it is located only a few hours' drive from the Queensland border, it receives occasional falls of snow in winter. Overlooking the village are mountains known as "The Two Brothers", which have a peak elevation of 1,508 metres.
In 1848, the Manooan run of 17,000 acres (69 km2) had the Ben Lomond Range as its southern boundary. In the 1860s there was a station named Ben Lomond which had been robbed by Captain Thunderbolt, who frequented the region. The slow climb and timber on the Ben Lomond Range proved an ideal place for the robbery of coaches and travellers.
The Dumaresq to Glen Innes section of the Main North railway Line, which included Ben Lomond, opened on 19 August 1884. At 1,363 metres (4,472 ft), Ben Lomond railway station was the highest railway station in New South Wales until the Skitube opened in 1987. Ben Lomond railway station closed on 10 December 1985, followed by the Dumaresq-Glen Innes section on 3 October 1993.
Ben Lomond Post Office opened on 4 November 1879 and closed in 1979. Ben Lomond was serviced by a general store providing the majority of day-to-day needs as well as farming supplies until it closed in November 2007.
- The median age was 48 years, compared to the national median of 37. Children aged 0–14 years made up 16.5% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 17.2% of the population.
- 92.2% were born in Australia; the other responses for country of birth were England (3.7%), New Zealand (0.9%), France (0.7%) and Thailand (0.7%).
- Of the employed people, 50.2% worked in sheep, beef cattle and grain farming; other major industries of employment included local government administration (4.3%), school education (4.3%), road freight transport (2.7%) and mushroom and vegetable growing (2.4%).
The census area called "Ben Lomond" covers a considerable area (816 square km), especially to the east of Ben Lomond township, including the settlements of Llangothlin, Tibbamurra, Falconer, Bald Blair and Green Hills. As a result, many of the people who are included in this census area may not normally classify themselves as living in Ben Lomond. Unpublished analysis by one resident who was working on the town plan estimated that about 30 persons in the village, and approximately a further 70 persons in the immediate area of mostly farming families, would identify themselves as "living in the Ben Lomond area".
Ben Lomond Public School, located on Inn Road, has been reduced in recent years from thirty students in the mid nineties to a current enrolment of around twelve students. The lack of jobs in the immediate area, drought, as well as the proximity to Glen Innes and Guyra has been a factor in this change in school size.
Ben Lomond is home to several tourist attractions, including home stays, the longest hand cut railway cutting in Australia, the highest passenger railway station in the southern hemisphere (at the time of the construction of the railway), and a scattering of old and historical relics of past times in and around the village. Other amenities include a community hall and a volunteer brigade of the Rural Fire Service.
The highland areas that include the Ben Lomond district are the focus areas for possible development of large scale wind farms. The original proposal was by Allco, which ran into severe financial problems and eventually liquidated on 4 November 2008, so that project was abandoned.
Ben Lomond community has traditionally been active through several groups and local initiatives to maintain and progress the village and district. In recent years the village has formed something of a local rivalry with neighbouring Glen Innes in the form of an annual inter-town friendly cricket match. Whilst at a substantial size disadvantage, Ben Lomond have won four of the games so far, and drawn the other. Games are played on the Ben Lomond Recreational Ground, which once played host to regular games but is seldom used outside of the fixture.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Ben Lomond (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Ben Lomond". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- Donald, J.Kay, Exploring the North Coast and New England, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1987.
- Bozier, Rolfe. "Main North Line". NSWrail.net. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- Bozier, Rolfe. "NSW Railway Altitude Highs and Lows". NSWrail.net. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- Bozier, Rolfe. "Ben Lomond Station". NSWrail.net. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "2011 Community Profiles: Ben Lomond (State Suburb)". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "Council endorses $20m wind farm". ABC News. 25 Jan 2005. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- John, Danny (18 June 2008). "Allco blows off wind-farm assets to deflate debt". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 April 2014.