Blackwater is both a town and a locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia, 190 km west of Rockhampton. It is a town in a significant coal mining area in Central Queensland. The name of the township was inspired by the dark colour of local waterholes.
Sign at the entrance to Blackwater, 2018
|Population||4,749 (2016 census)|
|LGA(s)||Central Highlands Region|
Six major open cut coal mines and one underground dot the landscape surrounding the town and provide its main employment opportunities. The town is also situated close to the Blackdown Tableland National Park which lies to the southeast and Blackwater coal mine located south of the town. Emerald is 74 kilometres (46 mi) to the west.
Blackwater was established on Kanolu territory, and is named after the Blackwater Creek which apparently was first observed to flow with black water, believed to be caused by the local coal deposits.
Coal deposits were discovered there by Ludwig Leichhardt on his expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington (now Darwin, Northern Territory) in 1845. Leichhardt saw "beds of coal indistinguishable from those on the Hunter at Newcastle".
Blackwater Post Office opened on 19 July 1877.
Blackwater State School opened on 21 November 1877.
It wasn't until over a century after Leichhardt first discovered the beds of coal at Blackwater that the town saw major coal mining development. With the opening up of several coal mines near the town in the 1960s, Blackwater's population rapidly increased as people searching for work flocked to find employment in the town's booming mining industry. There were 77 people living in Blackwater when the 1961 census was recorded. This increased to almost 2,000 when the 1971 census was recorded.
Blackwater State High School opened on 30 January 1973.
By the mid-late 1970s, the population of Blackwater was more than 10,000 people. At that time the town had 3 Rugby League clubs: South Blackwater, Blackwater Devils and Blackwater Centrals.
Blackwater North State School opened on 30 January 1979.
The town's population peaked in the early 1990s with 6,760 people living in Blackwater in 1991. Since then, the population of the town has gradually waned. In the 2011 census, there were still over 5,000 people living in the Blackwater community.
Approximately 100,000 workers were employed in coal mining at Blackwater over its 50-year history. The town has provided considerable economic development for Queensland and Australia more generally.
Frank Tutungi Memorial Lions Park is on the corner of the Capricorn Highway and Mackenzie Street. It is named after one of the Blackwater Lions Charter Members, Frank Tutungi was one of the original members of the Blackwater Lions Club and was the first from Blackwater to become a District Governor. The park displays the flags of the 37 nationalities who lived and worked in the town.
Blackwater State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Wey Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 183 students with 14 teachers and 18 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent).).
Blackwater North State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at William Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 397 students with 27 teachers (26 full-time equivalent) and 19 non-teaching staff (13 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.).
Blackwater State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Elm Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 316 students with 36 teachers (35 full-time equivalent) and 24 non-teaching staff (17 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.).
Notable people from BlackwaterEdit
Olympic track cyclist Anna Meares was born in Blackwater in 1983. In 2012, Anna Meares had a street named after her in the town when Meares Street was constructed as part of a new subdivision in the centre of Blackwater.
Wayne Denning was born in Blackwater. He established the award-winning creative agency Carbon Creative.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Blackwater (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
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- "Blackwater (locality) (entry 46918)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Kennedy, Brian and Barbara (2006). Australian Place Names. ABC Books. ISBN 073331760X.
- "Coal mining in Blackwater". Blackwater International Coal Centre. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Leichhardt, Ludwig (1847), Journal of an overland expedition in Australia, from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845, T. & W. Boone, available online
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
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- "Branch Locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Blackwater State School". Archived from the original on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- "Blackwater North State School". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Blackwater North SS - Special Education Program". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Blackwater State High School". Archived from the original on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- Di Stanley (10 October 2012). "Anna Meares name on new Blackwater street". Central Queensland News. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "Panelist: Josh Thomas". Q&A. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "B'water stars go head-to-head". Central Queensland News. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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