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Beerwah Field Study Centre & Scientific Area One

Roger’s interest stems from association with the Beerwah Field Study Centre. In 1989, with assistance from the Jupiters Community Benefit Fund, the Caloundra based Estuarine Research Group were able to purchase leases over three of the original single mens’ quarters. Under the guidance of directors John Shuttleworth, and later Jan Oliver, the centre made an important contribution to better understanding of environmental issues within the general community, and were able to influence government policies. Ownership passed to the Australian Marine Conservation Society after John’s death.

 

The Beerwah Forest Centre was established in the 1930’s to open the area for commercial timber plantation. The initial experimental plantings of exotic pine were done there. Sections of the original arboretum and visitors’ plots still exist and include exotic pines and native species. The mature stand of Queensland Maple (Flindersia brayleyana) is particularly impressive. Scientific Area No One was the first area gazetted after the 1959 Act. Its 624 Ha of mainly wallum is of considerable interest to the scientific and general community. The Centre was downsized in the 70’s due to plant disease.


Again with assistance from Jupiters, an amenities block was constructed to Roger’s design in 1995. This replaced the original toilets and septic which had potential to pollute Little Bluegum Creek. The block was to cater for 40 people and incorporated environmentally responsible design methodology. A wastewater treatment plant was chosen over dry toilets due to better capability with irregular use and the ability to reuse treated effluent for irrigation. The raised roof form incorporated solar water heaters and south facing translucent panels for daylighting. The timber frame is ACQ treated, considered more environmentally sound than CCA. This form of termite protection was an alternative to use of organochlorides, which was standard practice at the time.
The single men’s quarters were constructed from local Scribbly Gum (Euc. signata) and two have the original corrugated iron galleys. The seed drying shed pictured is essentially a roof on stumps. Despite its simplicity, it displays elegant detailing such as vented gable ends. The Marksman brand corrugated galvanised iron was available from Sachs between the wars.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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