Council works to preserve historic maritime beacon
  • Wednesday 17 August 2022
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The heritage listed Caloundra lighthouses are set to undergo important rehabilitation work to ensure our region’s signature maritime beacons stand the test of time.

Thanks to funding from Sunshine Coast Council’s Arts and Heritage Levy, work will begin this week and include installing new timber decking and balustrading and vital weatherproofing and roof works.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 2 Councillor Terry Landsberg said the project would ensure the culturally significant lighthouses were preserved for future generations.

“Caloundra has a deep maritime history,” Cr Landsberg said.

“The original 1896 lighthouse is the town’s oldest surviving building, and its 1968 neighbouring replacement is one of only two of its type in Australia.

These lighthouses were some of Queensland’s most important navigation aids from 1896 until 1978, guiding mariners through the popular Northwest Channel into the Port of Brisbane.

“The 868 square metre lighthouse precinct located on Canberra Terrace at Kings Beach was State heritage listed in 2010 and later sold to the Sunshine Coast Council in 2020 by the Department of Transport and Main Roads for the princely sum of $1.

“This important exchange has allowed council to invest in preserving this iconic site – a beacon for our region’s nautical roots.”

Over the past 15 years, the Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses community group has welcomed more than 13,000 visitors through the lighthouses with council’s support, inspiring a new era of maritime enthusiasts.

Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses President John Bradley said the heritage precinct was a special place for the whole community and visitors to the region to enjoy.

“We could easily open the lighthouses every day,” Mr Bradley said.

“People just love coming here, learning about their history and taking photos.

“It takes at least two volunteers to host a tour. We would love to see more volunteers step forward.

“We currently have around 10 active volunteers and it’s a commitment to stay on top of grant applications, upkeep and hosting tours but we do it because it’s important.

“The preservation of our history is in the hands of our future generations and education is key.”

Mr Bradley is the author of The Little Lighthouse, a children’s book inspired by the history of the Caloundra Lighthouses, illustrated by local watercolourist Diane Somers-Cook.

All proceeds from the book sales go to the Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses, helping to maintain the legacy.

The Caloundra Lighthouses Rehabilitation project was developed with the support of the Arts and Heritage Levy in association with Sunshine Coast Council.

Council is proud to employ local firms, including main contractor Conbuild, to deliver these important works in accordance with Department of Environment and Science heritage approvals.

Completion is expected in late September 2022, weather and site conditions permitting.

For more information about Caloundra Lighthouses Rehabilitation project, visit sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.