|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)|
The Gia people are the traditional Aboriginal Australians of the Proserpine area. Giya (also known as Kia. See also related Birri languages) is a language of North Queensland. The Giya language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Whitsunday Regional Council, particularly the towns of Bowen and Proserpine.
The first British colonists arrived in the early 1860s with Daniel Emmerson forming the Proserpine pastoral station. Frederick Bode and William Dangar took up land at Bromby Park and Goorganga Creek, while Charles Bradley and James "Terrible Jimmy" Colling established properties along the Gregory River.
Two of these pioneers were known to shoot Aboriginal people at "the slightest provocation." In 1866, Inspectors John Marlow and John Isley of the Native Police, a government funded paramilitary organistion, conducted patrols through the Proserpine area. They and their troopers "dispersed" around six "large mobs" of Aboriginal people during this mission. Marlow used Daniel Emmerson's property for his stock-yard and bought horses from him. After the spearing of cattle at Goorganga Plains, some Aboriginal people were giving "a very salutary lesson." In 1875 after the killing of a settler named Ben Toll and several of his workers at Lethebrook, the local colonists rounded up a group of Aboriginal people and killed them at Slaughter Waterhole. When Albert Setter was attacked and wounded with spears in 1883 while transporting goods through Crystal Brook, Native Police troopers and local settlers conducted probably the last punitive expedition in the area resulting in a "wholesale massacre." Setter lived to an old age and died in Proserpine in 1951.
The Crystal Brook Sugar Company was formed in 1882 and established a sugar industry in the region a year later. A sugar mill was built and the labouring on the plantation was performed by imported South Sea Islanders. In 1893 the plantation, which was located at Glen Isla close to the present Proserpine township, was closed and smaller sugar farms run by white owner-operators were established.
The township of Proserpine was created in the 1890s. 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.
In 1944 the Australian Field Experimental Station was constructed at Gunyarra just south of the town, this accommodated 600 staff from the AIF, AMF, RAAF, Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS), Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS), Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF), United Kingdom (UK) Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), UK scientists from Porton, England, Australian civilian scientists, and observers from New Zealand Navy, South African Army, United States, and Australian Chemical Defence Board. It was constructed to test and research the effectiveness of Mustard Gas in tropical conditions.
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) north-west 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.
The Proserpine Library opened in 1998 and had a major refurbishment in 2011.
Heritage-listed sites include:
Proserpine is situated on the Bruce Highway.
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, Dryander National Park is to the north, 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 provides a backdrop to the area.
A cyclone shelter was constructed 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 $30 million towards the program.
|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
In the 2016 census, Proserpine recorded a population of 3,562 people.
Facilities and economyEdit
One of the town's main industries is sugar growing. In the north west 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 recognised as one of the most modern sugar mills in the world. 
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 15 September and cricketing greats such as Allan Border, Jimmy Maher, Ian Healy and 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.
The Whitsunday Raceway motorbike track and dirt riders club is located to the south of the town, these facilities have been constructed for racing, driver training and hosting of competitive events. The facility was opened in 2011 and has hosted the Australian Supermoto Championships. This has helped attract lovers of motorbike racing and dirt riding to Proserpine. The facility is expected to grow in future years as more events are held and support of the club grows. BMW has launched new products at the raceway starting with the BMW G310R in 2017
Education and healthEdit
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.
The Proserpine Hospital in Taylor St is the primary health service for the Whitsunday Region .
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 water treatment plant.
Ergon Energy supplies power to the town via the Proserpine Substation complex on Kelsey Creek road which is connected to its main transmission lines.
A new fire and rescue station opened in 2018, this is a major investment in the emergency services in Proserpine. The new facility is on Hinschen Street and replaces the station located in Main Street.
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).
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).
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 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 town's 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.
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