Aerial view of Proserpine in August 2017
|Population||3,562 (2016 census)|
|• Density||141.91/km2 (367.6/sq mi)|
|Elevation||20 m (66 ft)|
|Area||25.1 km2 (9.7 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10)|
|LGA(s)||Whitsunday Regional Council|
Proserpine (//, locally [ˈpɹɔsəpɑen]) is a town and a locality in the Whitsunday Region, Queensland, Australia. It is the administrative/service centre and ultimately gateway to the Whitsunday Region region by road, rail and air. At the 2016 census, Proserpine had a population of 3,562.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Heritage listings
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Landmarks and attractions
- 8 Events
- 9 Sports and facilities
- 10 Education and health
- 11 Telecommunications
- 12 Water and Utilities
- 13 Transport
- 14 Government
- 15 Media
- 16 Notable people from Proserpine
- 17 In popular culture
- 18 Climate
- 19 See also
- 20 References
- 21 External links
Proserpine is situated on the Bruce Highway and is a major stopping point for vehicular traffic, plans are underway to construct a free RV friendly stopover point to show travellers that Proserpine appreciates them stopping in the town and bringing with them their much valued business.
The town is located along the banks of the Proserpine River and is surrounded by vast flat areas of land currently primarily used for sugarcane farming and urban expansion. Clarke Range is located to the west, northwards is Dryander National Park and to the east is Conway National Park.
The Clarke Range to the west of the town contains the small, former gold mining town of Dittmer and provide a dramatic backdrop to the area.
Proserpine was founded in the 1890s.
The town was founded around 1890 just after the sugar mill was constructed. The Postal Office opened in 1886. The town experienced high growth in the 1900s as the local sugar industry grew and exported raw sugar via the Proserpine Landing from here it was sent to refineries. At this time it was the fastest growing regional town in Queensland.
In the 1950s the Proserpine Airport was opened which increased the towns accessibility by air. In 1986 construction commenced on the Peter Faust Dam 25 kilometres (16 mi) NW of the town to be used for flood mitigation during the wet season and irrigation during the dry, the dam was completed in 1990 and was expected to take decades to fill but a passing cyclone helped boost levels close to maximum capacity. The 1990s saw the Proserpine Sugar Mill crush a record amount of cane in 1996.
As of 2017, Proserpine is shaping up to be the growth centre for the Whitsunday Region with access to a vast array of facilities, affordable land and close proximity to the airport and economic developments working in its favour. In September of the same year the Whitsunday Regional Council released the Proserpine Town Master Plan, intended to drive growth and much needed major improvements to town amenities and infrastructure.
Heritage-listed sites include:
Proserpine is a major hub for the Whitsundays region, providing important infrastructure, including the rail station, the main airport for domestic and future International services, two high schools and primary schools, the region's only medium-sized modern hospital and other vital services. It is a future base for workers involved in nearby mines including the $22 billion Adani Carmichael coal project and the future industrial hub of the region. The Proserpine Community Centre opened in 2014 and provides a range of social services and high quality spaces to the community.
It prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and in 2007 it won the Tourism Queensland Friendliest town award. Proserpine is growing steadily and this growth trajectory will be boosted by its airport becoming International standard in 2017/18, its affordability for new home buyers/builders and its short commute distance to the mines and all the best the region has to offer.
In the 2016 census, Proserpine recorded a population of 3,562 people. This is up from the 2011 count. It is expected this upward trend will continue and accelerate.
Service and administration
Proserpine is the Main hub and service/administration centre for the region. It provides important social and transport infrastructure including the rail station, mainland airport, 2 high schools (1 public, 1 catholic), the hospital and other vital services. Whitsunday Regional Council also has its main offices in Proserpine.
Industrial & Manufacturing
There are numerous businesses that specialize in light manufacturing of goods including window frames, kitchen cabinetry & concrete products.
Due to the towns location along the important arterial road, the Bruce Highway, the town hosts transportation depots which play an integral part in the effective distribution of a variety of goods across the region. It is also hoped the development of an intermodal transport hub at the Proserpine airport that the town could become a logistical hub for greater North Queensland. In June 2017 international Swedish furniture manufacturer and retailer IKEA opened a distribution point in the town's main business park.
The town has a small shopping centre known as "Freshfields Plaza" whose major tenant is Woolworths, it also has a few specialty stores including a liquor store, hair and beauty store and a newsagency.
Many of the towns retail stores, professional offices are clustered in the Main Street area. New developments are planned including a new retail centre on the highway next to Subway which is about to commence construction as of July 2017.
One of the town's main industries is sugar growing. In the NW corner of the Central Business District is a large factory known as the Proserpine Mill. It was established in 1897 and is one of the town's biggest employers at the present time. It is now recognized as one of the most modern sugar mills in the world.
Proserpine is in relatively close proximity to notable attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. The town has a number of motels fronting the Bruce Highway which are regularly at capacity and there is demand for new modern accommodation within the town.
Dittmer is the location of the largest gold find in the Whitsundays; it is 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the SW of Proserpine. The Dittmer Gold Mine has been closed since the 1960s, small scale mining still occurs in the vicinity.
Landmarks and attractions
• Proserpine Mill chimneys. Twin chimneys that are 62m tall (equivalent to 18 stories) and dominate the skyline.
• Proserpine water tower and associated mural.
• Art Deco façades in Main St.
• Fishing/crabbing in the Proserpine River.
• The four pubs attract locals and visitors for authentic pub food and drinks.
• Colour Me Crazy - a very well known shop amongst travellers and locals for selling a vast array of homewares, gifts, jewelley, candles etc.
• Fishing/crabbing in the Proserpine River.
• Crocodile safari tour in the Proserpine River.
• Proserpine rock-wallaby statue outside the council HQ is a popular spot with tourists for taking photos.
• Proserpine Historical Museum – A museum run by local volunteers.
• Proserpine Entertainment Centre – Used for various events/functions including movies, funerals, matinées, and concert dances.
• Peter Faust Dam located 22 kilometres (14 mi) west of Proserpine is a dam popular with fisherman and watersports enthusiasts.
• Nearby beaches such as Wilson's Beach & Conway Beach.
• Nearby national parks such as the Cathu State Forest, Dryander National Park and the Conway National Park.
The Proserpine Show is held at the Proserpine Showground around 24–25 June. It is a typical show with carnival rides, sideshow alley and fireworks and has run continuously for 105 years since 1912 with only one exception during WW1.
The Harvest Festival is generally held in October, around the 20th of the month, as a celebration of the end of sugar crushing at the mill. It includes carnival rides at Les Stagg Oval and a parade with floats through the Main Street.
The Proserpine Rotary Christmas Fair is an annual event held on 16 December. The Main Street is closed off in the late afternoon and stall holders and carnival rides take the place of cars. Most businesses in the CBD area stay open until late and take advantage of the increased business by offering discounts & special deals. In recent years the event has grown significantly with more people participating either by attending or setting up a stall creating a really good vibe at the event and in 20-16 fireworks were introduced into the mix, this was well received by all who have attended and will be done again in subsequent years. 
Sports and facilities
Les Stagg Oval is located on the western side of the railway tracks and the Whitsunday Brahmans are based there. There is also a BMX track, skate park and half court basketball courts located in the vicinity of the oval.
Proserpine Junior/Senior Sporting Complex is a medium-sized facility located on the western edge of town at the intersection of Crystalbrook and Kelsey Creek Road. Sports that it caters for are junior/senior cricket, soccer and football. Night games can be played at the eastern end of the facility under high powered halogen lighting. Many events have been held at the facility including the yearly event the Paul Bowman Challenge which celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year, it is a rugby league event and 54 teams from around the region and other surrounding regions participate, it regularly attracts over 1,000 spectators. Recent cricket events include a match involving the Queensland Bulls on September 15 and cricketing greats such as Allan Border, Jimmy Maher, Ian Healy & Michael Kasprowicz were in attendance.
The Proserpine Showground is located in the south-western corner of the town and is used for various events such as auctions, swap meats, car boot sales, softball but the main event that attracts the largest amount of attendees is the Proserpine Show which is held on 24 and 25 June. In 2012, the Proserpine show celebrated 100 years at the showground.
Education and health
Proserpine has two local public schools: Proserpine State Primary School and Proserpine State High School. There is also a private Catholic school, Saint Catherine's. Saint Catherine's recently opened a secondary campus on Renwick Road to cater for growth in its enrolment numbers. It is a modern campus with all necessary facilities. The two public schools recently finished building multi-purpose halls and a new language center at Proserpine State High for the study of Asian languages as part of the Federal Governments "Building the Education revolution" program. On June 8, 2013, Proserpine State High School celebrated its centenary. It has been at its present site in Sterry Street since 1963 and was previously located where the Entertainment Centre stands today.
The Proserpine Hospital in Taylor St is the main hospital for the Whitsunday Region and is a modern facility which provides many services among them are CT (X-ray computed tomography), Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) and Antenatal. It has a 24hour Emergency Department. It also features a Helipad on the opposite side of Taylor street which is used for more serious emergencies.
Internet services are of excellent standard in the town with access to the National Broadband Network and 4G LTE mobile services available from all major carriers including Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and others.
Water and Utilities
The town is supplied water by the company SunWater from the nearby Peter Faust Dam that was constructed in 1990 for flood mitigation purposes. The water is treated at the state of the art water treatment plant ensuring the water is of the highest quality.
Ergon Energy supplies power to the town via the Proserpine Substation complex on Kelsey Creek road which is connected to its main transmission lines.
There are Whitsunday Transit bus services to and from Airlie Beach and a connection service to Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport. The main bus stations are located in Mill Street (in front of Mill Street Park) and Blair Street (outside of the BP Service station).
Taxi services operate 24/7 in the town and a taxi rank is located outside the courthouse.
Proserpine Airport has flights to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne as of July 2017. The airport opened in 1951 and the first flight landed at it on 3 November the same year. It was a flight from Brisbane in a Douglas DC-3.
The terminal recently underwent an upgrade in 2010/11 and the newly upgraded terminal was officially opened on 20 December 2011. This upgrade provided an expanded parking area with the introduction of paid parking, new luggage carousel, more check-in counters and an overall new look. The local council announced in early 2013 that it was considering entering a partnership with a private company to further expand the terminal to triple its present size. Access to the airport is via the Bruce Highway and Sir Reginald Ansett Drive by either private vehicle, or by bus.
Starting in July 2017 the airport will receive a $40M runway upgrade and terminal expansion as part of a strategy to position the airport to become an international airport catering for long haul flights. The airport runway is also getting resealed to allow larger aircraft to land.
Proserpine is located on the North Coast line and has services between Brisbane and Cairns provided by the Spirit of Queensland which depart from Proserpine Station located in Hinschen Street almost at the geographical centre of the town. It was opened on 2 July 1910 and Governor William MacGregor was in attendance having arrived on a special train, the opening was timed to coincide with the Proserpine Show. Regular services to Bowen commenced on 18 July 1910 (was later connected to Mackay and subsequently Brisbane). The station is fairly long and is also used for freight. It has restroom facilities, covered waiting areas, arrival and departure announcements and coaches that provide connections to surrounding areas meet every arriving train.
Proserpine is locally governed by Whitsunday Regional Council, a product of amalgamation of the former Shire of Whitsunday with the former Shire of Bowen. The mayor is Andrew Wilcox. Jason Costigan is the member for the state seat of Whitsunday and George Christensen is the federal member for Dawson. Voting in elections is usually conducted at the Magistrates Court. Proserpine is division 2 in the Whitsunday Regional Council area and the current councillor representing division 2 is John Collins.
Proserpine is served by several radio stations including the Hot FM and Sea FM networks, MY105 FM Hot Country and Legends, 4MK AM, Zinc FM and the ABC's local Tropical North station. The town receives broadcasts from five television networks – Seven Queensland, WIN (an affiliate of the TEN Network), Southern Cross Nine, ABC TV and SBS. All networks also provide additional digital only television stations. Of the three main commercial networks, Seven Queensland and WIN produce 30-minute local news bulletins each weeknight (both produced from local newsrooms, but broadcast from studios elsewhere in the state – Maroochydore and Toowoomba respectively) with WIN also producing a statewide late news bulletin for regional Queensland. Southern Cross Nine also provides a one-hour Queensland bulletin. The towns local paper is the Whitsunday Coast Guardian (historically and still known by locals as the Proserpine Guardian) which used to be printed in the Guardian building on Chapman St but is now printed in Townsville. The Whitsunday Times also serves the town but is more oriented towards the coastal communities of the region but does occasionally cover Proserpine news.
Notable people from Proserpine
- Sidney Cotton Australian inventor, photographer and aviation and photography pioneer.
- Sam Faust Australian professional rugby league player.
- Andrew Fraser Queensland State Politician.
- Max Grosskreutz Australian speedway rider.
- Travis Waddell Australian professional rugby league footballer, plays for Newcastle Knights
In popular culture
Proserpine's climate consists of two main seasons. The "Wet Season" (November to April) and The "dry season" (May to November).
The town has a humid subtropical climate (CWa) under the Köppen climate classification.
A cyclone shelter was completed in February 2013 at Proserpine State Primary School and was a joint project between the Queensland Government and the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi the latter committing $30million AUD towards the cyclone shelter program for which the community is very thankful. At more than 1,500 square metres, they can provide shelter for up to 800 people and are equipped with features to ensure people’s comfort and safety, such as a backup generator, a kitchen, 10 toilets and five showers. Mr Faisal Saif Almazrouei, Third Secretary at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) attended the official opening of the Proserpine Shelter on March 26, 2013.
|Climate data for Proserpine Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)||41.2
|Average high °C (°F)||31.4
|Average low °C (°F)||22.6
|Record low °C (°F)||15.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||290.1
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- Bureau of Meteorology Retrieved 2007-11-22.
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- "Show Whitsunday". 2010 Proserpine A.P. & I. Inc. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- New Catholic school approved. Whitsunday Times. APN News & Media. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- (17 February 2011). St Catherine's School, Proserpine (Yr 5–7). Catholic Education Office Diocese of Townsville. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Proserpine, Queensland.|
- "Proserpine". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland.