Stage one has been completed on a Heritage work project at Mary Kathleen funded by Cloncurry Shire Council and coordinated by the Ballara Mining Heritage Trail Committee.
The installation of a replica of the original plaque from when the township, officially opened by Prime Minister Bob Menzies in 1958, was installed last week.
Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell said thanks to tourists, tourism operator's and the Ballara Mining Committee for recognising the significance of Mary Kathleen to our rich cultural heritage.
“Mary Kathleen is situated on private land and we're very lucky to have such accommodating hosts,” Cr Campbell said.
Secretary of the Ballara Mining Committee Mark Van Ryt said over a year ago Gary Baker contacted me.
“He wanted to do something like what the Committee had done out at Fountain Springs with the shade shelters and history panels,” Mr Van Ryt said.
“Mary Kathleen has such a remarkable story, and our hope is to complete up to stage three where much more can be told under a larger structure, however stage three is an aspiration at the moment.”
Next week stage two of the Heritage work project gets underway.
“We will be concreting in 12 new posts with directional signage and a shade shelter for tourist.”
The shade shelter will feature two large colour panels with photos and a historical story relating to Mary Kathleen.
“One side will focus on the mine and the other side on the town,” Mr Van Ryt said.
The history panel will acknowledge the different aspects of town life at Mary Kathleen and also an environmental feature relating to the Uranium mine.
The Ballara Mining Committee are in the process of lobbying local and state government for funding for the future of the planned stage three.
“We are applying for grants, but we will need more than $20,000 and we need more people to get involved.”
We are applying for grants, but we will need more than $20,000 and we need more people to get involved.Ballara Mining Committee - Mark Van Ryt
Mr Van Ryt said the overwhelming response from the community is positive.
“It’s amazing, the people who used to live at Mary K are so happy this is being done, to bring a bit of life back to there old town which they love.”
The committee are also commencing works at Kuridala, south towards Duchess and Dajarra, where a copper smelter used to be.
Gary Baker was asked by the station owner if he would erect signage for the tourists.
“Some of our committee members went out and helped him, we hand dug the holes and mounted six directional signs,” Mr Van Ryt said.