Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

We’ve worked with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to develop a heritage management plan to protect and manage the Dent Island lightstation, which was established in 1879.

The Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan identifies the lightstation’s historical and cultural values and how to protect, conserve, present and tell its story.

It contains detailed information on the area’s history and cultural significance as well as the condition of structures and other physical elements.

This helps outline the day-to-day needs of managing and protecting the lightstation, which was included on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 for its cultural significance.

The plan applies to the lighthouse that is owned and operated by Australian Maritime Safety Authority and to the land and lightstation structures that we own and lease to a private lessee.

The Dent Island lightstation

The lightstation is located on the western side of Dent Island, which is in the Whitsunday region of the Great Barrier Reef approximately 18 kilometres south-east of Shute Harbour.

Established in 1879, the lighthouse is important evidence of how navigation aids along the Queensland coast developed and the history of lighthouse technology, accommodation and associated services.

First lit in 1879, the lighthouse was built in response to the dramatic expansion of regular coastal shipping along the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef following the economic development of northern Queensland.

The lightstation demonstrates the colonial government’s policy of investing in infrastructure, such as railways and lighthouses, to encourage the expansion of economic activity.

The land surrounding the lighthouse contains two houses, an engine room, winch house, derrick crane, landing platform, boat platform and access ladder, workshop/store/radio room, tramline, trolley and cables, metal water tank and stand, paths, stairs, graves and fowl house.

The lightstation complex dating from 1879 to 1960 is a complete intact example of a lightstation complex in Queensland.

Later stages of development have joined with the original fabric and detail of the lightstation to keep a functioning and effective aid to navigation.

Lady Elliot Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has made a Heritage Management Plan to protect and manage the Lady Elliot Island Lightstation's Commonwealth heritage values.

Lady Elliot Island Lightstation was listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires the Commonwealth agency that owns or controls the Commonwealth heritage place to make a written plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth heritage values of the place.

The Lady Elliot Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan describes and assesses the heritage values, as well as detailing those obligations, appropriate policies and management regimes required to ensure that these heritage values are managed and protected.

Lady Elliot Island is at the southernmost end of the Great Barrier Reef . It is a Commonwealth Island managed jointly by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service under a collaborative lease arrangement with a tourism operator.  It attracts a high number of visitors each year, and the Lightstation Heritage Management Plan is important in ensuring the heritage values are preserved.

About the lightstation

The Lady Elliot Island Lighstation, established in 1866, forms an integral part of history in aiding navigation along the Queensland coast through the Great Barrier Reef. The centrepiece is a lighthouse, first lit in 1873, which was only the third lighthouse built by Queensland authorities and was the first built offshore within the Great Barrier Reef.

The Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse was designed using a unique composite form of construction which combined the economy of timber framing with the weatherproof durability of iron plating.

The lighthouse was the prototype for this style of lighthouse construction, which was subsequently used elsewhere along the Queensland coast.