WRL Atlas - Australia - The Scenic Rim

Page 1

Australian Contributions WORLD RURAL LANDSCAPES Project ICOMOS ISC Cultural Landscapes WRL__ANN_R.AP_3.08.14_en

Name and location: Scenic Rim, south east Queensland, Australia Short Description of type of rural landscape/ landform system: The Scenic Rim region covers 4248sq km and is located an hour south of Brisbane and an hour inland from the Gold Coast. It is a thriving rural area with a population of 38,000 set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and surrounded by World Heritage listed national parks. The jagged ranges are the rim of the Tweed volcanic shield covered in rainforest including Gondwanic era species. The region's primary businesses are agricultural/horticultural production, the equine industry and tourism/ecotourism. The region also contains three dams: Lake Moogerah, Lake Maroon and Wyaralong Dam. The Scenic Rim Region experiences sub-tropical climatic conditions typically with warm wet summers and mild dry winters. Temperatures range between daytime averages of mid 30oC in summer, to low 20oC in winter. The town of Beaudesert is located 46m above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 916mm. The Boonah township is about 80m above sea level. Average annual rainfall for the region is 866mm, equating to an average of 89 days of rainfall. Planning scheme controls for this landscape [include map] Zoned ‘Rural’ under Scenic Rim regional council planning scheme

History of land use including recent changes: Pastoral occupation began in the 1840s with grazing runs such as Fassifern, Maroon, Dugandan and Coochin Coochin. After Queensland became a separate colony in 1859 land tenure was more secure and villages grew around the homesteads such as at Boonah and Harrisville. Closer settlement by German families occurred from 1870s as pastoral runs were subdivided. Agricultural settlement became more permanent from 1888 when the railway line to Ipswich opened. To the east the land selection occurred from 1888 when the railway from Brisbane terminated at Beaudesert and the timber industry operated clearing the upper Logan and Albert valleys until the 1960s. Construction of Moogerah dam in 1960 provided water for irrigation of small crops and changes to dairying. Although Cunninghams Gap was declared a national park in 1909, the declaration of World Heritage status in 1994 over the Scenic Rim and its Main Range parks has led to major tourism developments with hiking trails, bed and breakfast accommodation accompanied by gourmet regional produce. Despite its proximity to Brisbane these valleys have retained their cleared landscape character with productive farms, villages of historic buildings, timbered hills and distant ranges. At Tamrookum, a major development has been a robotic dairy milking 1000 cows and marketing itself as ‘real milk’ from the Scenic Rim:  The Australian dairy industry produced 9.4 billion litres of milk during 2011/12  There are 6,770 dairy farms located across Australia  About 1,630,000 dairy cows produce all of Australia’s milk  On average, cows produce 5,926 litres of milk per year  The most common dairy cow breed in Australia is the Holstein Friesian  Approximately 50,000 people are directly employed on dairy farms and in manufacturing plants. Many rural properties here lie within the commuting zone to greater Brisbane for employment. The residents value their lifestyle in the countryside and have fought the local government to enact provisions banning coal seam gas mining in the Shire. Jane Lennon, Aug 2014

Bibliographical references: http://www.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/about-the-scenic-rim [22 March 2014] Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, 2000. ‘Fassifern Valley Heritage Trail’, in Heritage Trails of the Great South East, Brisbane. Johnston, W. Ross, 1982. The Call of the Land: A History of Queensland to the Present Day, Jacaranda Press, Milton, Qld


Aerial view –Moogerah Dam, Shire of Scenic Rim

Dairying on Tamrookum flats (J. Lennon)

Protest sign, Rathdowney (J. Lennon)

Levers Plateau, north of Rathdowney (J. Lennon)

The Scenic Rim, from Boonah road (J. Lennon)