Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L00095

Dent Island Lightstation
Heritage Management Plan
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, acting pursuant to section 341S of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, makes this heritage management plan in relation to parts of the Dent Island Lightstation within its ownership or control.
 
Given under the Common Seal of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
 
this 21st day of October 2013
 
 
which seal is duly affixed in the presence of:
 
 
 
 
Chairperson                                                                  Witness                      
 
(Bruce Elliot, A/Chairperson)                                      (Kristie Craig, Executive Assistant)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, acting pursuant to section 341S of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, makes this heritage management plan in relation to parts of the Dent Island Lightstation within its ownership or control. 
 
 
this 9th day of December 2013
 
 
 
 
Chief Executive Officer        
 
(Michael Kinley, A/Chief Executive Officer)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Dent Island Lightstation
Heritage Management Plan
 


   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
© Commonwealth of Australia 2013
 
Published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
 
ISBN 978 1 921682 99 5 (eBook)
 
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968,
no part may be reproduced by any process without the prior written permission of the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority or the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
 
The National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry :
 
Dent Island Lightstation heritage management plan [electronic resource] / Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
ISBN  978 1 921682 99 5 (eBook)
Dent Island Lightstation (Qld.)
Lighthouses--Queensland--Dent Island.
Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration--Queensland--Dent Island.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Qld.)--Management.
Other Authors/Contributors:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
387.15509943
 
This publication should be cited as:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority 2013,
Dent Island Lightstation heritage management plan, GBRMPA, Townsville and AMSA, Canberra.
 
Cover picture:
Dent Island Lighthouse, overlooking the Whitsunday Passage, 2012 (Image: Peter Marquis-Kyle)
 
Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to:
 
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority               Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Director, Communications and Parliamentary             Business Media Officer
2-68 Flinders Street                                                  GPO Box 2181
PO Box 1379                                                            CANBERRA ACT 2601
TOWNSVILLE QLD 4810 Australia                              Australia
Phone: (07) 4750 0700`                                             Phone: (02) 6279 5000
Fax: (07) 4772 6093                                                  Fax: (02) 6279 5950
info@gbrmpa.gov.au

Comments and inquiries on this document are welcome and should be addressed to:
Project Manager Field Management,                         Manager, Aids to Navigation
Field Management Unit                                            nsmaint@amsa.gov.au
info@gbrmpa.gov.au
www.gbrmpa.gov.au                                              www.amsa.gov.au
 
 
 
 
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword. 4
Executive summary. 5
1.    Introduction. 6
1.1. Overview of the cultural significance of Dent Island Lightstation. 6
1.2. Conserving cultural significance. 6
1.3. Preparation of this heritage management plan. 6
2. Heritage management plan objectives. 8
3. A brief history of Dent Island Lightstation. 9
3.1 Australia’s lighthouses. 9
3.2 Lighting the Queensland coast 9
3.3. Establishment of the Dent Island Lightstation. 11
3.4. A manned lightstation. 14
3.5. An automatic lighthouse. 17
3.6. The golf course. 20
4. Dent Island. 21
4.1. Location. 21
4.2. Geology. 21
4.3. The occupation and use of Dent Island. 21
4.4. Current owners and leases. 22
4.5. The heritage management plan area. 23
4.6. The lightstation setting. 23
5. Cultural significance. 24
5.1. Previous listings. 24
5.2. Summary statement of significance. 24
5.3. Cultural values. 25
6. The fabric of the lightstation. 27
6.1. Introduction. 27
6.2. List of the elements of the lightstation. 27
6.3. The lighthouse (AMSA property) 27
6.4. The rest of the lightstation (GBRMPA property) 33
7. Operational requirements. 43
7.1. Requirements for aids to navigation. 44
7.2. AMSA Heritage Strategy. 44
7.3. Great Barrier Reef Heritage Strategy. 44
7.4. Other plans and management considerations. 44
7.5. Statutory requirements. 45
7.6. Dent Island lease arrangements. 46
8. Heritage management policies. 47
8.1. Principles. 47
8.2. Processes. 47
8.3. Skills. 51
8.4. Use of the lighthouse. 51
8.5. Use of the rest of the lightstation. 52
8.6. Conserving the lighthouse. 53
8.7. Conserving the other lightstation elements. 54
8.8. Interpretation. 60
9. Implementation plan. 61
10. Appendices. 63
10.1. Bibliography. 63
10.2. Definitions of terms from the Burra Charter 65
10.3. Entry in the Commonwealth Heritage List, with recommended corrections. 66
10.4. Table demonstrating compliance with the EPBC Act 1999. 69
10.5. Map of Dent Island tenure. 71
10.6. Plan of the elements of Dent Island Lightstation. 72
10.7. Lease plans of the Commonwealth part of Dent Island. 73
10.8. Dent Island boulders geotechnical inspection March 2010. 74
10.9. List of introduced plants. 75
Table of figures
 
Figure 1 — Dent Island Lightstation. 4
Figure 2 — Aerial view of Dent Island Lightstation, April 2008. 7
Figure 3 — Major pre-1900 lightstations in the Great Barrier Reef region. 10
Figure 4 — Contract drawing for the lighthouse, 1878. 12
Figure 5 — Keepers' cottages at Cape Cleveland. 13
Figure 6 — Dent Island Lighthouse, 1917. 15
Figure 7 — Dent Island Lightstation, c. 1915. 16
Figure 8 — The lightstation, c. 1950. 17
Figure 9 — The lightstation site in 1954. 18
Figure 10 — The lightstation in 2002. 19
Figure 11 — The areas leased by AMSA. 20
Figure 12 — The lighthouse in 2012. 26
Figure 13 — Map of Dent Island land tenure. 71
Figure 14 — Plan of the elements of Dent Island Lightstation. 72
Figure 15 — Lease plans of the Commonwealth part of Dent Island. 73
Figure 16 — Plan showing the location of boulders. 74
 
 
Foreword
 
The Dent Island Lightstation was placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004. It is important for the evidence it shows of the historical development of maritime aids to navigation in Australia. The lighthouse, first lit in 1879, demonstrates a rare construction method used only in Queensland colonial lighthouses.
 
The lightstation is jointly managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) through the joint Field Management Program, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), and is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List.
 
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires that each Commonwealth agency that owns or controls a Commonwealth Heritage listed place must make a written management plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place.
 
This Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan describes the heritage values of this Commonwealth Heritage place, sets out the obligations that arise from those values, and proposes measures to ensure that those values are managed and protected.
 
This heritage management plan was written and adopted by the GBRMPA and AMSA, the two Commonwealth agencies responsible for the lightstation.
 
Figure 1 — Dent Island Lightstation, March 2013 (Image: Hamilton Island Enterprises)
Executive summary
 
Dent Island Lightstation was included in the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 because it demonstrates the historical pattern of development of coastal aids to navigation in colonial Queensland, and because it is a characteristic example of its type.
 
The lighthouse, erected on the island in 1879, was one of a series of 12 lighthouse towers of a distinctive type, built between 1873 and 1890. These timber-framed towers clad with riveted iron were designed by officers of the Queensland colonial government, to meet the particular needs of the colony, in a form that was not used anywhere else in the world. Near the lighthouse tower are two houses, a workshop, a derrick crane, a winch house, a trolley way, fowl house, and the grounds in which they sit together; these elements make up the Dent Island Lightstation.
 
The lightstation is about 18 km from Shute Harbour, on the south-western side of Dent Island, in the Whitsunday Region of the Great Barrier Reef. Dent Island is within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area. The southern part of the island is held on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).  The lighthouse is a working aid to navigation that remains the property of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
 
This heritage management plan is concerned mainly with the lightstation, but also addresses the management of the surrounding land which forms the visual setting of the lightstation. The plan is intended to guide the decisions and actions of the GBRMPA and its two lessees at Dent Island — AMSA which continues to own and operate the lighthouse, and a private lessee who occupies the rest of the lightstation site. The GBRMPA and AMSA have prepared this plan jointly, to integrate the management of the heritage values of the lightstation in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).
 
The 1879 lighthouse has been fitted with modern solar-powered lighting equipment, and operates automatically as a part of the AMSA network of aids to navigation. The equipment is serviced by AMSA’s maintenance contractor who visits at least once per year. AMSA officers visit on an ad hoc basis for auditing, project and community liaison purposes.
 
The larger part of the lightstation outside the AMSA lease, containing two lightkeepers’ houses and other ancillary structures, is leased to a private lessee who operates a golf course on Dent Island. The private lessee has carried out repairs to the buildings, grounds and services, and uses the houses to accommodate members of staff. The lightstation area is not open to visitors except by special arrangement.
 
The use of the lightstation and its setting is constrained by several management controls, including Commonwealth Islands zoning, permits and leases. Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003, this part of Dent Island is designated a Commonwealth Islands Zone and may be used or entered without permission only for low impact (non-extractive) activities such as photography, filming, marine resources and limited educational programs. This heritage management plan is consistent with meeting the ‘objectives of the zone’ by ensuring minimal environmental impact.
 
Being well built and generally well maintained over the years, the buildings and other structures of the lightstation mostly remain in a good, stable condition. The policies and management regimes set out in this heritage management plan will ensure the Dent Island Lightstation’s Commonwealth heritage values are recognised and maintained into the future.
1.    Introduction
1.1. Overview of the cultural significance of Dent Island Lightstation
Dent Island is in the Whitsunday Island Group of the Great Barrier Reef approximately 18 kilometres south-east of Shute Harbour (20º 20' 21” S and 148º 55' 48” E). A lighthouse has operated on the island continuously since 1879. The historic lightstation — comprised of the lighthouse and its ancillary structures and grounds — embodies important and evocative evidence of the historical development of aids to navigation along the Queensland coast and the history of lighthouse technology, accommodation and associated services. It is a place of cultural significance.
 
 
‘Places of cultural significance enrich people’s lives, often providing a deep and inspirational sense of connection to community and landscape, to the past and to lived experiences. They are historical records that are important as tangible expressions of Australian identity and experience. Places of cultural significance reflect the diversity of our communities, telling us about who we are and the past that has formed us and the Australian landscape…These places of cultural significance must be conserved for present and future generations.’

(from the preamble to the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999)
 
 
These words reveal the importance of places which demonstrate the pattern of Australia’s history. The Dent Island Lightstation is one such place of historical and cultural significance to Australians, particularly to the coastal communities of Queensland, reflecting the colony’s and state’s development after separation from New South Wales. A navigational light has shone on Dent Island since 1879, marking an area of danger and facilitating the safe passage of goods and people through the Great Barrier Reef.
 
In recognition of its significance, the lightstation is included in the Commonwealth Heritage List.
1.2. Conserving cultural significance
The southern part of Dent Island, including the lightstation site, is held on behalf of the Commonwealth by the GBRMPA, which has a responsibility to protect, preserve and transmit the heritage values of the lightstation to all generations of Australians.
 
The small area of land on which the lighthouse stands is leased by the GBRMPA to AMSA, another Commonwealth agency. AMSA operates the lighthouse as one of its system of aids to navigation.
 
The land around the lighthouse, together with the former lightkeepers’ cottages and other ancillary structures, is leased by the GBRMPA to a private lessee. The lease requires the lessee to conserve the heritage values of the part of the lightstation not leased to AMSA. The private lessee has been extensively involved in the preparation of this heritage management plan.
 
This heritage management plan sets out the framework and mechanisms the GBRMPA and AMSA will use to monitor, protect, conserve and manage the heritage values at Dent Island Lightstation.
1.3. Preparation of this heritage management plan
Preparation of the heritage management plan has followed good professional practice in the field. The methods used are consistent with the recommendations of The Burra Charter (Australia ICOMOS 1999) and The Conservation Plan (Kerr 2004). The plan includes a short account of the history of the place drawn from expert knowledge and documentary sources acknowledged in the text. The descriptions of the place and its current condition are based on site inspections, and the analysis of the statement of significance uses the Commonwealth Heritage criteria drawn from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (the EPBC Regulations).
 
This plan was initially drafted by the private lessee then augmented and edited by Peter Marquis-Kyle (consultant conservation architect) and reviewed by the GBRMPA and AMSA.
 
The draft management plan was advertised in accordance with the EPBC Regulations jointly by GBRMPA and AMSA and the comments received were incorporated into the document. A developed draft was submitted to the Minister through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and in that process the Minister’s delegate sought advice from the Australian Heritage Council.
 
 
Figure 2 — Aerial view of Dent Island Lightstation, March 2013 (Image: Hamilton Island Enterprises)
2. Heritage management plan objectives
 
The objectives of this heritage management plan are to:
·         Protect, conserve and manage the Commonwealth heritage values of the Dent Island Lightstation;
·         Interpret and promote the Commonwealth heritage values of the Dent Island Lightstation;
·         Manage use and where there is no adverse impact on the Commonwealth heritage values of the place, manage adaptive re-use of the lightstation consistent with the heritage values; and
·         Use best practice standards, including ongoing technical and community input, and apply best available knowledge and expertise when considering actions likely to have a substantial impact on Commonwealth heritage values.
 
In undertaking these objectives the heritage management plan also aims to:
·         Provide for the protection and conservation of the Commonwealth heritage values of the place while minimising any impacts on the natural environment by applying the relevant environmental management requirements in a manner consistent with all heritage conservation activities;
·         Take into account the significance of the island as a cultural landscape occupied by Aboriginal people over many thousands of years;
·         Recognise that the site has been occupied by lease holders since the early 20th century;
·         Encourage site uses that are compatible with the historical fabric, infrastructure and general environment; and
·         Record and document maintenance works, and changes to the fabric, in the GBRMPA and AMSA heritage registers.
 
The key performance indicators for the heritage management plan are:
·         The preservation of the Commonwealth heritage values of the lightstation for current and future generations;
·         Meeting the Implementation Plan (page 61) and maintenance requirements relevant to the lightstation and AMSA’s operational requirements for the lighthouse, consistent with lease requirements;
·         Ensuring that any interpretation materials used for staff instruction, or for special interest visits if they occur, accurately represent the history and Commonwealth heritage values of the place; and
·         The publication of this heritage management plan on the GBRMPA and AMSA websites and, as a registered legislative instrument, on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
3. A brief history of Dent Island Lightstation
 
3.1 Australia’s lighthouses
Since Governor Lachlan Macquarie ordered the building of a lighthouse at South Head near the entrance to Port Jackson in 1816 (and was criticised by his superiors in London for the cost), providing aids to navigation has been the business of Australian government agencies. It was a costly undertaking to build and operate lighthouses, but lighthouses reduced the risk of shipwreck and the cost was worthwhile. Up to the present time the cost has largely been paid by the operators of ships, through various schemes of dues, levies and charges.
 
Each of the colonies developed its own particular types and systems of lighthouse operation, reflecting the volume of shipping, the value of trade, the local building materials and the local navigation hazards. The earliest lighthouses were built in New South Wales — others in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia came later.
When the colony of Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859 there was only one lighthouse in the new territory: Cape Moreton Lighthouse, a stone tower completed in 1857. The new colony, with no railways and only a few rough roads, depended on coastal shipping, despite the difficulties of navigating a coast set behind the Great Barrier Reef. From separation in 1859 until federation in 1901 the Queens­land marine authorities built an impressive set of lighthouses, which demonstrate remark­able frugality and technical innovation. The type of timber-framed, iron-sheeted lighthouse tower (of which the 1879 Dent Island Lighthouse is a typical example) is a local Queensland invention.
 
When the Australian colonies federated in 1901, it was decided that the new Com­monwealth government would be responsible for coastal lighthouses. This arrange­ment came into effect after the necessary legislation was passed in 1912, a survey of existing lighthouses was conducted by Commander C R W Brewis RN, and a bureaucracy was established. The transfer of Queensland lighthouses to the new Commonwealth Lighthouse Service began in 1915. The Commonwealth Lighthouse Service headquarters was in Melbourne, and the design of new lighthouses became more standardised around the country, though regional depots (including one in Brisbane which was responsible for the coast between Torres Strait and Cape Moreton) still maintained some local character.
 
Since 1915 various Commonwealth departments have carried the responsibility for lighthouses. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990, is now responsible for operating lighthouses and other Commonwealth aids to navigation, along with its other functions.
 
3.2 Lighting the Queensland coast
One of the first appointments made by the Queensland colonial government after separation from New South Wales was a marine surveyor, Captain George Poynter Heath. Between his appointment in 1859 and his retirement in 1887, Heath was responsible for supervising the opening of 13 new ports, establishing 33 lighthouses, 6 lightships and 150 small lights and marking 450 miles (724 km) of the inner route through the Barrier Reef (Gibbney 1972). Captain Heath advised a parliamentary select committee that set out the beginnings of the policy for developing lighthouses along the Queensland coast.
 
In 1864 the select committee recommended erecting lighthouses at Sandy Cape and Bustard Head. Selection of these two sites reflects the importance at that time of the ports of Maryborough and Rockhampton. The government acted on this recom­mendation, and its agents in England procured two complete lighthouses in ‘kit’ form, with towers of cast iron segments which were bolted together on their sites. The two towers were manufactured by different foundries in England, though their designs were similar. Both were equipped with lantern houses and optical apparatus manufactured by Chance Brothers & Company, the major English lighthouse equipment maker. The Bustard Head lighthouse was first lit in 1868, and Sandy Cape in 1870. These fully imported cast iron lighthouses were effective, though costly.
Figure 3 — Major pre-1900 lightstations in the Great Barrier Reef region (Source: GBRMPA)
 
 
Having pressed for the Sandy Cape and Bustard Head lights, the select committee members added that they did not ignore the fact which this enquiry has impressed upon them, that there is before the Government of Queensland the much larger and more serious task of so lighting what is called the Inner Passage within the Barrier Reef, that not only the trade to our own rapidly increasing ports may be protected, but that much of the trade with India, China, and other countries to the North of this Continent may be diverted from the Western to the Eastern line of Passage (Select Committee 1864). With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 the shipping route along the Queensland coast became even more important.
 
The Queensland government, though its funds were very limited, pressed ahead with the development of a system of lighthouses and other navigation and port facilities. Successive governments used this infrastructure to encourage expansion of trade, at the same time as they responded to requests by ship operators. The development of the shipping route through the Torres Strait, and on to the Suez Canal, put Queens­land ports closer to European markets than the old route that added Queensland onto the end of a long journey around Australia’s southern ports.
 
Architects in the Queensland Colonial Architect’s office, in particular the skilled, innovative and practical Robert Ferguson (1840–1906), developed an innovative design for lighthouse towers. The first of these new timber and iron composite lighthouses was built on Lady Elliott Island and lit in 1873. Following the success of the Lady Elliot Island lighthouse, others were built at Cape Bowling Green (first lit 1874), Cape Capricorn (1875), Low Isles (1878), and North Reef (1878).
 
The government kept up this rapid progress of lighthouse building by letting a contract for the construction of a pair of identical lighthouses — one at Cape Cleveland to mark the entrance to Cleveland Bay and the port of Townsville, and the other at Dent Island, the subject of this heritage management plan. Both of these lightstations were finished and operating in 1879.
 
Development of the system of navigation lights continued. Similar iron-plated, timber-framed lighthouses were built at Flat Top Island (1879), Archer Point (1883), Double Island Point (1884), Pine Islet (1885), and Booby Island (1890).
 
Following the success of the composite lighthouses, the government architects developed an even more economical type of construction, using light gauge corrugated galvanised iron sheeting rather than riveted iron plating, and built a series of smaller lighthouses. Towers of this second type were built at Goods Island (1886), Grassy Hill (1886), Bay Rock (1886), Sea Hill (1895), Caloundra (1896), Gatcombe Head (1900), and Bulwer Island (1912).
 
3.3. Establishment of the Dent Island Lightstation
Commander Heath, the Portmaster, wrote to the Colonial Treasurer in February 1878 to request that … the Colonial Architect may be instructed to prepare plans & specifications and call for tenders for a Lighthouse at Cape Cleveland & on Dent Island Whitsunday Passage. The towers to be the same size as that at Flat Top Island but with a trunkway in the centre for the clockwork weights to travel up & down as at Lady Elliots’ Island. With each of the Light houses two cottages will be required for the keepers. (WOR/A268 In-letter 4484 of 1890, quoted in Thorburn 1967).
 
The Treasurer passed the request on to F D G Stanley, the Colonial Architect. Stanley reported in April that the documents were almost ready, and in May called for tenders for the erection of both lighthouses. Three tenders were received for each lighthouse. William Peter Clark submitted the lowest tenders — £1820 for Dent Island and £1670 for Cape Cleveland — and his tenders were accepted.
 
In December 1878 Stanley reported on a visit to Dent Island: Having arranged for detention of the “Victoria” S.S. [steam ship] for two hours in passing through Whitsunday Passage — I landed with the Contractor and with considerable difficulty reached the top of this island and found a suitable spot for the Lighthouse, commanding the Channel both to North and South, also a level site for Cottages. The work is now in progress, the buildings being framed up in Brisbane (QSA WOR/A158 In-letter 6178 of 1878, quoted in Thorburn 1967).
 
Figure 4 — Contract drawing for the lighthouse, 1878
Light houses: Dent Island & Cape Cleveland, a contract drawing prepared in the office of the Colonial Architect. The contractor William Clark signed the drawing in the bottom right corner, but part of his signature has been lost. (Source: National Archives of Australia, series J2775, item 1717459).
 
It appears that William Clark got into financial difficulties around this time. He transferred his contracts to others to complete (to John Clark for the Dent Island project and to James Wiseman for Cape Cleveland); James Campbell, supplier of building materials in Brisbane, sued William Clark for payment of debts; the Crown Solicitor and various other lawyers got involved; William Clark was insolvent for a time.
 
Despite these distractions the building work was finished, and the lighting equipment installed and commissioned. The lighthouse was first lit at the end of October 1879 (Heath 1879). A contemporary newspaper article describing a journey through the Whitsunday Passage mentioned that …a young woman and her baby had to be landed at Dent Island, where a new lighthouse has lately been built, of which her husband is the keeper (Anonymous 1879).
 
There were two separate cottages at the lightstation; one was for the principal lightkeeper with his family; and the other for the assistant lightkeeper and his family. No drawings of these cottages are known to survive, but they were probably similar to those for Cape Cleveland shown in Figure 5.  A photograph published in 1915 shows that they were similar to those built at some other Queensland lightstations (Figure 7).[1]
 
The keepers took turns keeping watch through the night in the tower, where their principal duty was to tend the kerosene wick burner and to wind up the weight that drove a clockwork to rotate the lenses. Dent Island Lighthouse was originally fitted with a fourth order revolving dioptric light.  This is an assembly of Fresnel lenses and refracting prisms with a focal radius of 250 mm that rotated on a vertical axis around the kerosene lamp, projecting several narrow beams of light out towards the horizon. Because of the regular rotation of the lenses, ships’ officers saw distinct flashes of light as each beam passed over their ship. Each lighthouse had its own character or pattern of flashes which was shown on navigation charts, and which allowed the ships’ crew to recognise which lighthouse it was.
 
The keepers’ daytime duties included maintaining all the equipment and facilities of the station, monitoring vessels traversing the passage, signalling to and from the vessels, and dealing with quantities of kerosene (brought by the government steamer) and household supplies (brought by contractors). To support these functions, the station was equipped with a workshop, a flagpole, and a boat shed.
 
 
Figure 5 — Keepers' cottages at Cape Cleveland
Lightkeepers Cottage and Assistant Lightkeepers Cottage for Cape Cleveland, a contract drawing prepared in the office of the Colonial Architect, and signed by the contractor William Clark. No corresponding drawing of the original Dent Island cottages is known to survive, but it is likely that they were similar to these. (Source: National Archives of Australia, series J2775, item 1717460).
 
3.3.1 The lighthouse
As was typical for this series of lighthouses, the Dent Island tower was round in plan and tapered in profile, forming a truncated cone. The outer walls were framed with sawn hardwood posts and rails, bolted together with joints reinforced with wrought iron straps and brackets. The walls were lightly braced by timber braces, which would have served to stabilise the timber structure before the iron shell was fitted. At Dent Island there was just one intermediate floor with hardwood joists and pine floorboards. In the centre of the tower was a vertical timber weight tube, which formed a central support for a winding timber stair that ran part of the way up the tower. On the upper level, where the conical tower was too small to fit a stair, there was a fixed ladder up to the level of the light room and balcony.
 
The tower frame was supported at the bottom by a segmented cast iron ring that formed a base, bolted to a massive concrete footing and floor cast within a low stone wall. The timber posts were bolted to lugs made as part of the iron base ring. At Dent Island, because the tower was quite short, a pit was formed in the middle of the floor to provide a longer drop for the weights that powered the clockwork that rotated the lens.
 
The tower was clad with a covering of wrought iron plates, about 3 mm thick, which were rolled to conform to the conical shape. The plates were lapped and riveted, and screwed to the timber framework and to the iron ring at the base. A timber door was fitted at the bottom of the tower, and glazed windows at each floor level.
 
At the top of the tower was a timber-framed structure, which formed the floor of the lantern room, and the projecting balcony that surrounded the lantern room. This balcony had a flooring of timber boards with a waterproof covering of lead sheet.
 
The lantern (the structure which enclosed the lantern room, and which protected the optical apparatus) had three main parts — the base, the glazed section and the roof. The base (sometimes called the murette) was round in plan, framed in timber, clad with iron on the outside and with timber boarding inside, and capped with an iron sill. There was a low door in the base through which the keeper could crawl out onto the balcony. Above the base was the glazed section, with flat trapezoidal glass panes in a slender framework of iron. On top was the lantern roof (sometimes called a dome or cupola) of galvanised iron sheeting on an iron frame, curved to form a hemispherical dome. At the peak of the roof was a weatherproof vent for the lamp smoke to escape. All of these parts were locally designed and made in Queensland.
 
The optical apparatus was mounted inside the lantern room, and was manufactured by Chance Brothers & Company, lighthouse engineers, in their factory at Smethwick near Birmingham, United Kingdom. The apparatus consisted of the rotating assembly of lenses and prisms, the kerosene lamp at its centre with a number of circular concentric wicks, and the clockwork to rotate the lens assembly.
 
3.4. A manned lightstation
Dent Island was occupied and used by Aboriginal people over many thousands of years and was also occupied and used by the holders of various licences and leases, as is outlined in Section 4.3, but for long periods the lightkeepers and their families were the only people on the island.  The lighstation was manned between 1879–1987.
 
Lightstations were staffed by men who were selected for their competence and reliability. It was expected that they would be married, and houses were provided so that their wives (and children, if they had any, as many did) would have appropriate accommodation. Larger lighthouses, like Sandy Cape on Fraser Island, had three keepers and a sufficient number of children to justify the appointment of a school teacher. At Dent Island the task of teaching children probably fell to their parents. The isolation of life at the station is poignantly illustrated by the presence of children’s graves at the station. One of these is marked with a plaque recording the death of Carrie Biss on 3 April 1885 at the age of 3½ years. Caroline’s death certificate records the cause of death as convulsions, and she was buried by her father, Head Lightkeeper Edwin Biss, and Assistant Lightkeeper G R Bellairs (Blackwood 1997).
 
Figure 6 — Dent Island Lighthouse, 1917
 
Photograph of the tower, looking southward. Note the managed landscape, with the ground cleared around the tower and the native hoop pines kept clear so that the light remains clearly visible from the passage. As was normal during daylight hours, canvas curtains have been hung in the lantern house, so that the lens cannot concentrate the light from the sun and damage the lamp. (Source: AMSA).
 
 
3.4.1 Upgrading the lighthouse
When the Australian colonies federated in 1901 it was agreed that coastal lighthouses should become a Commonwealth responsibility, with states continuing to provide harbour lights. The Commonwealth engaged Commander C R W Brewis, a retired British naval surveyor, to report on the condition of existing lights and to recommend improvements. His reports set a course for the newly established Commonwealth Lighthouse Service that took over existing lighthouses in 1915. Dent Island Lightstation, along with the other coastal lights between Cape Moreton and the Torres Strait, was managed from a Commonwealth Lighthouse Service depot in Brisbane. (The establishment of the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service is outlined in Reid 1988).
 
The lighthouse service followed Brewis’s recommendations and upgraded the light source at Dent Island in 1920 by replacing the wick burner with a much brighter pressurised burner with an incandescent mantle (Blackwood 1997). Around 1925 a Chance Brothers mercury float pedestal was installed. This improved the efficiency of the apparatus, but required an adjustment to the lantern base to accommodate the increased height of the focal plane of the lens above the floor (Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1925).
 
Figure 7 — Dent Island Lightstation, c. 1915
Dent Island Lighthouse overlooking the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland, photograph commissioned by the Queensland Government Intelligence and Tourist Bureau and published in the book Views seen from Queensland Railways distributed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915. (Source: State Library of Queensland ).
 
3.4.2. Improving the facilities
A cyclone hit the Whitsunday region in early 1917. A Brisbane newspaper reported that …no damage had been done to the lighthouse. The dwelling houses, however, required attention, and the outhouses had been flattened by a very severe hurricane. … Trees were uprooted, and the islands in the vicinity looked as desolate as if they had been swept by fire (Anonymous 1917). The damaged buildings were repaired and, at various times, the facilities on the station were adapted and improved.
 
In 1922 lighthouse service engineers surveyed the site and prepared a sketch of a derrick crane on the rocky cliff near the water’s edge, and a tramway leading up the hill to a spot near the keepers’ houses (Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1922). Without such a facility it must have been a laborious business to manhandle supplies up the track from the little cove where small boats could land. Tins of kerosene, boxes of groceries, and household effects would all have had to be carried up a hill too steep for a horse and cart. It appears that the project did not proceed.
 
Electric lighting was introduced for the houses and to power radio equipment, with batteries charged by a diesel generator set in a small engine room building next to the lighthouse. Exactly when these changes were made has not been established, but it probably happened in the 1930s or 1940s, and the station certainly had the generator set and radio-telephone by 1951 (Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1951). Meanwhile the lighthouse remained lit by kerosene and driven by clockwork.
 
The keepers had to wait until after the Second World War for any substantial improvements. In March 1952 a visiting engineer recorded that the station was well kept, but noted that the eight horsepower diesel generator engine had undue vibration. The author noted: Houses in bad condition, particularly floors, plates + verandahs and recorded a shortage of water in the second half of the preceding December (Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1951).
 
The engineer also wrote: New house, store shed, crane winch and tramway to be erected here. These improvements were made, but not immediately. In December 1953 the houses were deteriorating rapidly, and the same observation was noted again in September 1957. In May 1958 the contractor for new houses … expects to have first house up by end July (Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1951).
 
The two new houses, the derrick crane, the winch house and the workshop were probably completed by around 1960, although the available documents do not provide precise dates.
 
 
Figure 8 — The lightstation, c. 1950
Undated photograph showing the original keepers’ houses, with the engine room in place. Note the absence of any crane or trolley way. There is a rudimentary roof across the chasm in the cliff, presumably for protecting stores and a small boat. (Source: AMSA).
3.5. An automatic lighthouse
Developments in lighthouse technology through the 20th century made the equipment much more reliable. By the time the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service was set up in 1913 it was possible for navigation lights to operate for long periods without attention. That is, they operated automatically, fuelled with cylinders of acetylene gas and using the highly reliable equipment made by the Swedish AGA company. In 1915–1918 the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service constructed a series of seven new automatic acetylene lights to mark the shipping route between Cooktown and the Torres Strait (Rams­botham 1919). Some manned lightstations were converted to the automatic system and de-manned — examples include the light on Pipon Reef which was converted in 1915 (Ramsbotham 1919) and the Cape Bowling Green light, which was conver­ted and de-manned in 1920 (Australian National Maritime Museum undated).
 
Figure 9 — The lightstation site in 1954
Dent Island Lightstation, survey plan for proposed new quarters and tramway, 10 May 1954. This plan shows the two original keepers’ houses still in place, and a proposed new tramway terminating between them. To the north of the lighthouse tower is the engine room (containing the diesel generator set), and to the south of the tower is a fuel store. (Source: AMSA, drawing QS630).
 
Through the 1970s and 1980s, with further developments in the efficiency of solar-electric lighting systems, with the increasing importance of other aids to navigation such as radar, radio, depth sounders, and satellite global positioning systems (GPS), and with the drive for lower operating costs, the Commonwealth government proposed to automate most or all of its lighthouses. This was contentious (House of Representatives 1984). Among the vocal opponents were small boat operators who did not have radar or GPS and relied on the lighthouses and their keepers. (Buchanan 1994 gives a personal account of this period, from a Queensland lighthouse keeper’s point of view).
 
 
Ultimately, the scheme to automate and de-man the Commonwealth lights went ahead. In 1983 the light was automated.  The land on which the lightstations stood was handed over to other govern­ment agencies, such as the various state national parks services, and AMSA arranged to lease back the small part of each site that was needed for the un-manned lights.
 
 
Figure 10 — The lightstation (likely to date before 1995) Note the building on the far left which has since been removed. (Source: unknown photographer, photograph supplied by Hamilton Island Enterprises)
 
At Dent Island the light was converted to solar power in 1983 (AMSA 2004). The old Chance Brothers clockwork and kerosene optical apparatus was removed from the lantern room, and a Tideland ML-300 beacon installed on the 1925 mercury float pedestal from which the mercury had been removed. Power for the light came from batteries inside the tower charged by an array of solar panels. In 2010 a Sabik LED 350 beacon replaced the ML-300.
 
The lightkeepers remained at Dent Island, maintaining and monitoring the light, until the station was de-manned in 1987.
 
The responsibility for Lots 3 and 4 (on Crown Plan HR2019) passed to the GBRMPA in 1994. Lots 1 and 2 (on Crown Plan HR2019) passed to the GBRMPA in 2003.   AMSA leased two small pieces of land — a 58 m2 area around the tower (Lot 1 on Crown Plan HR2019), and a separate 669 m2 area on the edge of the cliff, retained as a possible site for a new replacement lighthouse and a helicopter landing pad (Lease A on Lot 2 on Crown Plan HR2019) (Figure 13).
 
The lighthouse tower remains the property of AMSA, which is also responsible for maintaining the small areas of land it leases from the GBRMPA. Lighthouse maintenance work is carried out by the AMSA maintenance contractor.
 
Maintenance of the former keepers’ houses and other ancillary buildings is the responsibility of the private lessee.
 
After the keepers left in 1987, the site was unoccupied for a time. In 1994 the private lessee appointed Rob Nichols as caretaker. He and his family stayed there until 1998. John Weymouth was appointed as caretaker in 1999 and was involved in considerable restoration work on the houses and ancillary buildings, funded by the private lessee.
 
Figure 11 — The areas leased by AMSA
Image © 2013 Aerometrex
3.6. The golf course
In August 2009, after about three years of construction work, the Dent Island Golf Course Resort began operation. A section of the course occupies land leased by the private lessee from the Commonwealth (Lot 4, leased from the GBRMPA). Most of the golf course is on the state portion of the island (Lot 5, leased from the Queens­land Department of Natural Resources and Mines). The resort includes an 18-hole golf course, a clubhouse, a maintenance compound, a marine landing facility, a heliport, services and a pump station. Future developments proposed include a 109-room five-star hotel and associated restaurant, lounge, bar, pool and tennis court, up to 38 villa sites and 172 two- and three-bedroom townhouses/apartments.
 
With the completion of construction and commencement of operations of the golf course, improved access to Dent Island Lightstation has been completed. Concrete roads for golf buggies and maintenance vehicles now service the developed state government owned part of the island. Access is available from the marine landing facility, the golf course helipad, around the 18 holes of the golf course and from the 12th fairway to the lightstation. The access distance of the concrete road from the 12th fairway to the lightstation is approximately 350 m, averaging 3 m in width. Access to the lightstation for works, maintenance and operations is now available in most weather conditions.
4. Dent Island
4.1. Location
Dent Island is in the Whitsunday Island Group of the Great Barrier Reef approximately 18 km south-east of Shute Harbour (20º20'21"s, 148º55'48"e) (
Figure 3).
 
Dent Island is in the Great Barrier Reef, between the Queens­land coast and the outer Reef. It is approximately 1.5 km west of the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island, positioned about midway along the coastline between Brisbane and Cairns. The island has a surveyed area of about 312 ha.
4.2. Geology
Dent Island is a steep island with an undulating coastline rising to rounded hills. The island is dissected by small gullies and has shallow embayments on all sides. In places the shore has been cut into rocky bluffs.   The geology of Dent Island comprises Whitsunday Volcanics, waterlaid acid to intermediate air-fall pyroclastics, minor pyroclastic flows and lava.
4.3. The occupation and use of Dent Island
Government archives contain records of a succession of licences, leases and transfers of property on Dent Island; however, written records of Indigenous occupation are limited.
 
4.3.1. Indigenous occupation and use
Coppinger (1883) counted 40 or 50 Aboriginal people on Dent Island in 1882 and stated his surprise at the large number of children.  During the early post-contact period Dent Island became a refuge for many Aboriginal people. Blackwood (1997) also reports that about 50 people were living around the Dent Island Lighthouse in the early 1880s. By the 1930s most of the offshore islands were almost completely depopulated of Aboriginal people, with the exception of those people who stayed on to work at islands occupied by European settlers (Farr 1965; Blackwood 1997).
 
Prior to European contact, the entire Whitsunday region including all the islands had been home to the Gnaro people of the Birri-Gubba nation, at least since the last major sea level rise in the late Pleistocene period (i.e. the end of the last ice age). As a result, Gnaro people have sites of significance to them that are below the current sea level.
 
Throughout the Whitsunday Islands there are sites of significance such as the petraglyphs of Nara Inlet which show tangible evidence of occupation and use. Unseen, and just as significant, are the intangible sites of significance to the Gnaro people which leave no physical evidence of occupation and use.  It is known that the Gnaro people have visited and occupied all the islands in the region for reasons of subsistence, shelter, seasonal changes in natural resource availability, ceremonial and other reasons. It can be said that the entire Whitsunday region is culturally significant to the Gnaro people.
 
4.3.2. Lightkeepers, pastoralists and tourists
The lightstation occupies only a small portion of Dent Island and the Queensland government has granted a succession of licenses and leases for the remainder (Blackwood 1997).
 
From 1905 until 1912 Michael Ahern held an occupation licence over the whole of the island, but it is not known what use he made of it. William Galbraith took over the lease until it lapsed in 1913. Blackwood (1997) notes that this may have been in connection with the Commonwealth Government’s decision to create a lighthouse reserve and official correspondence in 1910 shows their claiming a strip of 200 acres (81 ha) running across the island 20 chains (396 m) north and south of the lighthouse, effectively isolating the southern end of the island. By 1919 or 1920s this reserve had been extended to cover the whole of the southern half of the island (about 400 acres (160 ha)) with some argument that the northern half should not be leased because of the danger that smoke from fires may obscure the light. In any event it seems that from about 1915 a reserve over the southern half was a ‘fait accompli’ as in that year all lighthouse reserves passed to the Commonwealth Government.
 
Between 1927 and 1933 Edward Stuart Abell held a lease over the whole island, including the southern lighthouse reserve, with a proviso that he was to fence the boundary to keep stock out of the lighthouse reserve. He built the fence, but did not run any stock or live on the island.
 
The lease was transferred to John James O’Hara in 1933. He ran cattle and sheep on the island and initially built a corrugated iron shack, and later a fibro house, for shelter during occasional visits. A more substantial fibro house came later, and was used by the workers who built the new lightkeepers’ cottages around 1958. From 1939 O’Hara and his wife lived full-time on the island, in a building relocated from the main street of Proserpine. The lease passed to other O’Hara family members, who retained the interest until it was sold in 1968.
 
In 1961, the Wallace’s leased 1.01 ha around the building that had been moved from Proserpine — this continues as the Coral Art lease (Lot 4 on CP855596) on the State part of the island.
 
The pastoral lease over the northern part of Dent Island passed in turn to Ronald Willam Vigar (1968), Sebastian Properties Pty Ltd / Normelda Developments Pty Ltd (1973), the Faust family (1974), and a private lessee (1989).
 
In 1989, following the de-manning of the lightstation, the Commonwealth leased the small area of land immediately around the lighthouse to AMSA, and put out to tender the lease of the remainder of the southern part of Dent Island. The lease was granted to a private lessee.
4.4. Current owners and leases
The northern part of Dent Island (about two-thirds of the island) is owned by the Queensland government and the southern part (the former lighthouse reserve) is held on behalf of the Commonwealth by the GBRMPA.
 
The private lessee has responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance of the land and facilities within the leased areas.
 
The southern Commonwealth part of Dent Island comprises five leased areas, as described below:
 
-          Lot 1 HR2019 (58 m2): This small area contains the lighthouse tower and is leased from the GBRMPA by AMSA. AMSA owns the lighthouse and the associated equipment and is responsible for maintaining this structure. AMSA has rights of access to the site through the surrounding areas.
 
-          Lot 2 HR2019 (2836 m2): This lease is divided into two areas:
 
o    Lease A contains no structures and is leased from the GBRMPA by AMSA as a potential helipad site.
o    Lease B contains the former lightkeepers’ houses and other ancillary structures of the lightstation and is leased from the GBRMPA by a private lessee. The private lessee is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of this Lot.
 
-          Lot 3 HR2019 (1.662 ha): This area is leased from the GBRMPA by Maritime Safety Queensland as a navigation beacon reserve.
 
-          Lot 4 HR2019 (115 ha): This area, the major part of the Commonwealth area in the south of the island, is leased from the GBRMPA by a private lessee. This lease includes the golf course. The lessee is responsible for the day-to-day property management of this allotment.
 
4.5. The heritage management plan area
This heritage management plan deals directly with the area that was historically used by the lighthouse keepers who maintained the lighthouse between 1879 and 1987 — that is, Lots 1 and 2 on HR2019, plus about 14 600m2 of Lot 4 (Figure 13). It includes the lighthouse, the two keepers’ houses, the store, the winch house, the work­shop/store­/radio-room and the engine room. Also included are the tramway, the derrick crane, various concrete paths, two graves, septic tanks, the main concrete water tank, the water header tank on its steel lattice stand, the fowl house, and the spa bath and its roof (Figure 11).
4.6. The lightstation setting
The heritage value of the lightstation could be affected adversely by changes in its visual setting — this is the area seen around the lightstation from seaward, from the shore up to the line of the ridge behind the station to the east, and extending about 300 m to the north and south of the station.
Dent Island is an area of steep and moderate vegetated slopes rising from the rocky foreshore up to a ridge that runs roughly parallel with the shore line. It is covered with eucalypt forest and woodland (Corymbia tessellaris and Eucalyptus tereticornis) open forest and vine thicket understorey on hill slopes, also present are areas of variable eucalypt dominated associations (often with Eucalyptus drepanophylla, E. crebra, Acacia spirorbis subsp. solandri, Lophostemon confertus and E. exserta) and grassland on the southern portion (Xanthorrhoea latifolia subsp. latifolia shrubland and Imperata cylindrica grassland, including some areas recently colonised by Timonius timon shrubland), with a few clumps of hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii).  It contrasts with the more open landscape of the lightstation where native trees have been cleared (except for the hoop pines), the grass has been kept mown, and garden plants have been introduced.
 
5. Cultural significance
The cultural significance of the Dent Island Lightstation is set out in the entry in the Commonwealth Heritage List to which the lightstation was added in 2004. The cultural significance as described is discrete from the overall Aboriginal cultural significance of the entire region as noted previously.  The statements from the list are reproduced below, with some comments and suggestions made on the basis of recent investigations.
5.1. Previous listings
The cultural significance of the Dent Island Lightstation was already recognised when the EPBC Act came into effect. The following listings are noted here for the record, although they do not have any legislative effect on the management or operation of the lightstation.
 
The National Trust of Queensland Register — the lightstation is currently not listed by the National Trust (pers. Comm 2012, National Trust of Queensland).
 
The Queensland Heritage Register — Dent Island Lighthouse was entered in the state register at the commencement of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 under the transitional arrangements from the Heritage Buildings Protection Act 1990, but was later removed after legal advice that listing in the State register was not valid for Commonwealth-owned places. As a result of receiving this advice about the Dent Island case, the Queensland Heritage Council removed from its register all other places owned by the Commonwealth (pers. comm. 2012, Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection).
 
The Register of the National Estate — Dent Island Lightstation was entered in this register in 1980. This listing no longer has any effect on the management of the place, since the EPBC Act has taken over the relevant functions of the Heritage Commission Act 1975.
5.2. Summary statement of significance
The current Commonwealth Heritage List summary is shown in italic type below, with comments interspersed in roman type:
 
Dent Lighthouse, constructed in 1879, is significant as a light tower 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 (Criterion A.4).
 
Concerning the name of the place, since 1879 it has been known officially as Dent Island Lighthouse or Dent Island Lightstation — that name should be used in the heritage list. While it is known that the Gnaro people may have had their own name for Dent Island, this has not been recorded on any known document. 
As well as being a response to the expansion of shipping, the lighthouse is an important manifestation of the colonial government’s policy of investing in infrastructure, such as railways and lighthouses, to encourage the expansion of economic activity.
 
The Lighthouse is significant as an intact representative example of a timber-framed, iron clad tower (Type B), an adaptation by the Queensland Government of the imported prefabricated type using components from the United Kingdom (Criterion D.2).
 
The design was not an adaptation of the prefabricated cast iron form as used at Bustard Head (first lit 1868) and Sandy Cape (1870). Rather, it was derived from other sources including the timber lighthouses being built in Canada, with the local invention of using boiler plate sheeting. Type B is not part of a recognised typology, and has no meaning here.
 
Dent Lighthouse is important as one of a pair of identical lighthouse towers in the Whitsunday Passage, the other being situated at Cape Cleveland (Criterion D.2).
 
Cape Cleveland is not in the Whitsunday Passage, but about 200 km further north. The two are no longer identical — at Cape Cleveland the stair, weight tube, and timber lining have been removed, and at Dent Island the lantern base has been modified.
 
The Lightstation Complex of tower, houses, store shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c. 1960, are significant as a complete intact example of a Lightstation Complex in Queensland. Later stages of development have integrated with the original fabric and detail of the Lightstation, contributing to the continuum of a complex dedicated to the single aim of maintaining the navigation aid (Criterion A.4).
5.3. Cultural values
Again, the text from the current Commonwealth Heritage List is shown in italic type below, with comments interspersed in roman type:
 
5.3.1. Processes (criterion a)
Dent Lighthouse, constructed in 1879, is significant as a light tower 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 Complex of tower, houses, store shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c. 1960 is significant as a complete intact example of a Lightstation Complex in Queensland. Later stages of development have integrated with the original fabric and detail of the Lightstation, contributing to the continuum of a complex dedicated to the single aim of maintaining the navigation aids.
Attributes: The lighthouse and its relationship to the houses, storage shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c.1960.
 
5.3.2. Rarity (criterion b)
(This criterion is not referred to in the Commonwealth Heritage List)
 
While the lightstation might not possess sufficient rarity to meet the threshold for Commonwealth listing, the 1879 lighthouse is one of only six of its type to survive in service. Such lighthouses were never common — a total of 12 of this type were built between 1873 and 1890.[2] Another related aspect is the use of a type of lantern house locally designed (in the Colonial Architect’s office) — ten lanterns of this design were built, of which five survive in service.[3]
 
The shore-mounted derrick crane, built around 1960, is another rare element of the lightstation. Such cranes were built at some other lightstations, but few survive as intact as the one at Dent Island.[4]
 
Attributes: The lighthouse tower with its timber frame, stairs, ladder, floors, partition walls, and doors; the iron plating and bronze porthole windows; the lantern house — all of these elements were locally designed and made in Queensland. Also the derrick crane with its associated winch house.
 
5.3.3. Characteristic values (criterion d)
The Lighthouse is significant as an intact representative example of a timber-framed, iron clad tower (Type B), an adaptation by the Queensland Government of the imported prefabricated type using components from the United Kingdom. Dent Lighthouse is important as one of a pair of identical lighthouse towers in the Whitsunday Passage, the other being situated at Cape Cleveland.
 
The previous comments regarding construction type are also applicable, as are the comments about Cape Cleveland.
 
Attributes: The structural system and all of the fabric including timber framing and iron cladding.
 
5.3.4. Aesthetic characteristics (criterion e)
(This criterion is not referred to in the Commonwealth Heritage List)
 
While the aesthetic value may not be high enough to meet the threshold for Commonwealth listing, it is still a substantial value that warrants conservation.
 
Attributes: The visual impression of the buildings sitting in a partly cleared, modified and tended landscape.
 
5.3.5. Technical achievement (criterion f)
(This criterion is not referred to in the Commonwealth Heritage List)
 
While the level of technical achievement may not be high enough to meet the threshold for Commonwealth listing, it is still a substantial value that warrants conservation.
 
Attributes: The evidence of the local Queensland design of the timber and iron tower, and the lantern room; the evidence of local manufacture of the tower and lantern.
 
 
Figure 12 — The lighthouse in 2012
The glazed section of the lantern is blanked on the landward side, as seen in this view. (Image: Peter Marquis-Kyle)
6. The fabric of the lightstation
6.1. Introduction
In this chapter the parts of the lightstation for which AMSA is responsible are discussed separately from the parts for which the GBRMPA (through its private lessee) is responsible.
6.2. List of the elements of the lightstation
All elements of the lightstation are located to the south of the island, on the western side. The numbers in the list below correspond with those shown on Figure 14.
 
6.2.1. Elements within the AMSA lease (assets owned by AMSA)
    1      Lighthouse
 
6.2.2. Elements within the private lease (assets held by GBRMPA on behalf of the Commonwealth)
    2      Engine room
    3      Winch house
    4      Derrick crane
    5      Landing platform
    6      Boat platform and access ladder
    7      Cottage 1
    8      Workshop, store and radio room
    9      Cottage 2
  10      Septic pits and absorption trench
  11      Concrete water tank
  12      Tramline, trolley and cables
  13      Metal water tank and stand
  14      Paths, stairs and bridges
  15      Polyethylene water tank
  16      Graves
  17      Lightstation grounds
  18      Boulders
  19      Access road
  20      Spa bath and roof
  21      Fowl house
6.3. The lighthouse (AMSA property)
Except for the lighting equipment and its energy source, the lighthouse is little changed from its original form. The original kerosene wick burner was replaced with a brighter incandescent kerosene burner in the mid-1920s. The original roller pedestal was also replaced with a mercury float pedestal around the same time, and the lens assembly may have been changed.
 
In 1983 the light was automated by removing the fourth order dioptric lens assembly and kerosene burner, and fitting a Tideland ML-300 self-contained electric beacon powered by batteries charged by solar panels attached to the balcony handrail. The electric beacon was mounted on the 1920s Chance Brothers pedestal (the mercury having been removed from the trough). A fence of galvanised iron pipe and chain wire was built around the lighthouse.
 
In 2010 the ML-300 beacon (lit by a tungsten halogen lamp) was replaced with a new Sabik beacon lit by light emitting diode (LED) lamps.
 
The wire fence was removed by AMSA in 2011. AMSA intends to remove the remnant fence post bases.
 
 
6.3.1. Elements of the lighthouse
 
Element
History
Description and condition
Significance

Footing and tower base
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in 1879 and not substantially altered.
 
 
Circular mass concrete footing extending 900 mm below ground level and standing 700 mm above ground.
 
In­cludes stone surrounding wall, two stone entry steps and central weight pit.
 
All in good stable condition.
 
 
Highly significant for these reasons:
 
The base is an essen­tial part of the lighthouse and dem­onstrates a local Queensland design (criterion a).
The base is a char­acteristic element of lighthouses of its type (criterion d).
 
The base is an essential part of the innovative structural design of the Queensland timber and iron lighthouse towers (criterion f).
 
 

Tower
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Source: National Archives of Australia, series J2775, item 1717459)
 
 
 
 
Built in 1879 and not substantially altered. The hardwood frame was prefabricated in Brisbane, then brought to Dent Island for erection.
 
 
Frame of hardwood studs and rails with joints reinforced with forged iron straps, lined with diagonal pine tongue and groove boards.
 
Pine tongue and groove boarded weight tube between ground floor and lantern floor.
 
Timber stair with two straight runs and one section of winders, from ground floor to first floor. Fixed vertical timber ladder from first floor to lantern floor.
 
Ground floor entry door with timber framed and sheeted leaf with inset metal louvre vent panel. Internal panelled door on first floor lantern vesti­bule/airlock.
 
Intermediate (first) floor of hardwood joists and pine floorboards.
 
Plating of curved galvanised wrought iron of 10 gauge (3.175 mm) thickness, with lapped and riveted joints, screwed to timber frame.
 
Round porthole windows of cast gunmetal, with inward opening sashes. Each window has an internal copper gutter to catch any water that drips from the sash, with copper pipe to carry the water out through the plating.
 
All in good stable condition.
 
 
Highly significant for these reasons:
 
The tower is an essential part of the light­house and dem­onstrates a local Queensland design (criterion a).
The tower is a characteristic ele­ment of light­houses of its type (criterion d).
 
The tower contributes to the aesth­etic value of the lighthouse (criterion e)
 
The tower is an essential part of the innovative structural design of the Queensland timber and iron lighthouses (criterion f).

Balcony and lantern floor
 
 
(Source: National Archives of Australia, series J2775, item 1717459)
 
 
 
 
Built in 1879 and not substantially altered. The hardwood frame was prefabricated in Brisbane and then brought to Dent Island for erection.
 
 
 
Radiating hardwood joists with outer ends cut to profile.
 
Floorboards on top of joists, with rounding nosing at outer edge.
 
Lead covering with radial rolled joints, and outer edge dressed over the nosing.
 
Balustrade with solid wrought iron stanchions, and rails of galvanised iron pipe.
 
All in good stable condition.
 
 
 
 
 
Highly significant for these reasons:
 
The balcony is an essential part of the lighthouse and demonstrates a local Queensland design (criterion a).

The balcony is a characteristic element of light­houses of its type (criterion d).
 
The balcony contributes to the aesthetic value of the lighthouse (criterion e)
 
The balcony is an essential part of the innovative structural design of the Queensland timber and iron lighthouses (criterion f).

Lantern
 
 
 
Built in 1879. The component parts were prefab­ri­ca­ted in Bris­bane, then brought to Dent Island for assembly.
 
In the late 1920s the height of the lantern base was raised to accom­modate the extra height of the mer­cury float pedestal.
 
 
Timber-framed base (murette) sheeted with curved iron plate on outside, ver­tical boards in­side. A ring of timber blocks, in segments joined with lap joints, has been inserted between the lantern base and the glazing sill, covered on the outside with lead flashing.
 
Glazing of flat trapezoidal panes held in inclined astragals. Panes on the landward side are blanked.
 
Part-spherical roof (dome­/cu­pola) of sheet galvanised iron curved both ways, on curved iron rafters attached to cast iron gutter ring. Heat vent tube still in place.
 
All in good stable condition.
 
 
Highly significant for these reasons:
 
The lantern is an essential part of the lightstation, and demonstrates a local Queensland design (criterion a).

The lantern is a characteristic elem­ent of lighthouses of its type (criterion d).
 
The lantern contributes to the aesthetic value of the lighthouse (crit­erion e)
 
The lantern demonstrates an innovative local response to the problem of econ­omical lighthouse construction (criterion f).

Mercury float pedestal
 
(Image: AMSA)
 
 
Manufactured by Chance Brothers & Company, Birmingham, UK and installed at Dent Island c. 1927.
 
In 1983 the fourth order dioptric rotating lens and kerosene lamp equip­ment were re­moved, the mercury drained from the trough, and the pedestal adapted to sup­port an electric beacon.
 
 
Standard Chance Brothers & Company fourth order mercury float pedestal from which the clock, drive gear, lamp, lens and mercury have been removed.
 
In good stable condition.
 
 
Highly significant for this reason:
 
The pedestal is a rare surviving example of a small (fourth order) mercury float pede­stal (criterion b).
 

Solar powered equipment
 
 
 
(Image: AMSA)
 
 
 
The system was installed in 1983.
 
In 2010 the ML-300 beacon was replaced with an LED beacon.
 
 
 
Three solar panels attached to the balcony handrail on aluminium frame.
 
Six batteries on galvanised steel rack in the lower room of the tower, with control box and associated cables.
 
LED self-con­tained fixed beacon mounted on the lamp pillar of the mercury float pedestal.
 
 
 
Not significant.
 
This is a typical set of current stan­dard navigation equipment of which many other examples are in service.


 
 
6.4. The rest of the lightstation (GBRMPA property)
 
 
Element
History
Description and condition
Significance

2 Engine room
 
 
 
(Source: AMSA, drawing no. QA11840)
 
 
Built at some time in the 1930s or 1940s to house a diesel electric lighting plant for lighting the cottages.
 
Later adapted by successive replacement of the generator sets.
 
In 1999 the two gener­ator sets in the building were installed. These are not assoc­iated with use of the site by light­keepers.
 
 
Timber-framed, gable roofed, single room building on concrete slab on ground. Roof sheeted with Super Six asbestos-cement, with matching accessory ridge, gable and vent pieces. Walls sheeted with flat asbestos-cement.
 
Timber awning casement windows; timber framed and sheeted doors.
 
The building does not contain any major equipment from the manned lightstation period, but does contain small remnants from that period.
 
There is a corrugated iron rainwater tank, on a timber stand, against the northern wall of the building.
 
One of the generator sets is in working order, the other is unserviceable following fire damage.
 
The building is in generally sound condition.
 
 
 
 
Moderately signif­icant for these reasons:
 
The engine room demonstrates the development and operation of the lightstation, par­ticularly the provision of electricity for radio operation and the keepers’ domestic purposes (criterion a).
 
Provision of domestic electric lighting for lightkeepers’ quarters was a typical feature of lightstations from about the 1930s (criterion d).

3 Winch house
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s. In service until the light­station was de-manned in 1987.
 
 
Timber-framed, skillion roofed, single room building on suspended reinforced concrete slab floor. Roof sheeted with Super Six asbestos-cement, with matching accessory barge pieces. Walls sheeted with hardwood weather-boards.
 
Timber casement windows, and solid timber doors and hatches.
 
Inside the building is a reel winch driven by a small diesel engine, set up to control both the lifting line on the crane, and the trolley hauling line.
 
The building is in a deterio­rated condition.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The winch house and its equipment dem­onstrates the devel­opment and oper­ation of the light­station, particularly the work of trans­ferring fuel, equip­ment and stores from boats (criterion a).
 
The winch house and its associated com­ponents are typical elements of light­stations on elevated sites serviced from the sea (criterion d).

4 Derrick crane
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s. In service until the light­station was de-manned in 1987.
 
 
Slewing derrick crane with tubular steel jib, post and legs, arranged to lift a load from a small boat brought up to the cliff below, and to lift it on to the landing platform or boat platform. The lifting line is operated by the reel winch in the winch house, and the jib is slewed by hand.
 
The crane is in a deteriorated condition.
 
 
 
 
Highly signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The crane and its equipment dem­onstrates the devel­opment and oper­ation of the light­station, particularly the work of trans­ferring fuel, equip­ment and stores from boats (criterion a).
 
The crane is a rare surviving example of a lightstation crane (crit­erion b).
 
The crane is a typical element of light­stations on elevated sites serviced from the sea (criterion d).

5 Landing platform
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s. In service until the light­station was de-manned in 1987.
 
 
Reinforced concrete floor slab. One section is sup­ported on the ground and fill; the rest is suspended and supported on concrete posts.
 
The platform is in a seriously deteriorated and dangerous condition.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The landing platform demonstrates the devel­opment and oper­ation of the light­station, particularly the work of trans­ferring fuel, equip­ment and stores from boats (criterion a).
 
The landing platform is a typical element of light­stations on elevated sites ser­viced from the sea (criterion d).

6 Boat platform and access ladder
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s. In service until the light­station was de-manned in 1987.
 
 
 
Steel and timber cradle to support a small boat midway between the sea and the landing platform.
 
The platform and ladder are in a deteriorated condition.
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The boat platform and ladder demon­strate the devel­opment and oper­ation of the light­station, particularly the work of handling small boats that were part of the equipment of lightstations (criterion a).
 
The boat platform and ladder are typical elements of light­stations on elevated sites ser­viced from the sea (criterion d).

7 Cottage 1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s and completed by around 1960.
 
Maintained, with minor modifi­cations, during its service as light­keepers’ quarters until the station was de-manned in 1987.
 
Refurbished by the private lessee during the 2000s and currently occupied by staff of the private lessee.
 
 
Timber-framed detached house built on two levels stepping down the slope, connected with a single flight internal stair.
 
Walls sheeted externally with hardwood weatherboards, internally with hardboard.
 
Roofed with Super-Six asbestos-cement sheeting.
 
Timber double-hung window sashes with external hinged timber cyclone shutters.
 
The building is in generally sound condition.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The cottage demonstrates the development of the light­station, particularly the improvements to the keepers’ living conditions made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

The cottage is a characteristic elem­ent of light­stations (criterion d).

8 Workshop, store, and radio room
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s as work­shop and store.
 
Used as a radio room.
 
Refurbished by the private lessee during the 2000s and currently used by staff of the private lessee.
 
 
 
Timber-framed building on concrete slab on ground.
 
Walls sheeted inside and out with flat asbestos-cement.
 
Roofed with Super-Six asbestos-cement sheeting.
 
Glass louvre windows, and timber framed and sheeted doors.
 
The building is in generally sound condition.
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The workshop building demon­strates the develop­ment of the light­station, particularly the improvements in radio communication made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

The workshop is a characteristic elem­ent of light­stations (criterion d).

9 Cottage 2
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s and completed by around 1960.
 
Maintained, with minor modifi­cations, during its service as lightkeepers’ quarters until the station was de-manned in 1987.
 
Refurbished by the private lessee during the 2000s and currently occu­pied by staff of the private lessee.
 
 
Timber-framed detached single-storey house.
 
Walls sheeted externally with hardwood weatherboards, internally with hardboard.
 
Roofed with Super-Six asbestos-cement sheeting.
 
Timber double-hung window sashes with external hinged timber cyclone shutters.
 
The building is in generally sound condition.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The cottage demonstrates the development of the lightstation, particularly the improvements to the keepers’ living conditions made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

The cottage is a characteristic elem­ent of lightstations (criterion d).

10 Septic pits and absorption trench
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s and completed by around 1960.
 
Currently servicing the two cottages.
 
 
 
Underground concrete pits, pipework and transpiration trenches — two sets, one connected to each cottage.
 
In serviceable condition.
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for this rea­son:
 
The installation demonstrates the development of the light­station, particularly the improvements to the keepers’ living conditions made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

11 Concrete water tank
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s and completed by around 1960, to collect and store rainwater from the roofs of the buildings.
 
Refurbished with painted water­proofing mem­brane in 2010.
 
Asbestos-cement roof sheeting replaced with steel in 2010.
 
Currently servicing the two cottages.
 
 
 
Rectangular tank with floor and walls of reinforced concrete cast in situ.
 
Corrugated steel skillion roof on timber frame.
 
The tank is in generally sound condition.
 
 
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The tank demon­strates the develop­ment of the light­station, particularly the improvements to the keepers’ living conditions made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

12 Tramline, trolley and cables
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Built in the late 1950s. In service until the light­station was de-manned in 1987.
 
 
 
Straight run of tramline, inclined over most of its length, with a level section at the top. A wire hauling rope runs on two sets of steel rollers — one set between the rails, and one outside.
 
The trolley runs on two pairs of wheels, and has a flat timber tray.
 
The system is generally complete and in sound condition.
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The tramline and its equipment dem­onstrates the devel­opment and oper­ation of the light­station, particularly the work of trans­ferring fuel, equip­ment and stores from boats (criterion a).
 
The tramline and its associated com­ponents are typical elements of light­stations on elevated sites serviced from the sea (criterion d).

13 Metal water tank and stand
 
 
 
 
 
Built around 1960 as a header tank to supply rain­water pumped up from the concrete tank.
 
No longer in service.
 
 
 
 
Standard type galvanised steel lattice tank stand, supporting a corrugated steel tank.
 
The stability of the structure has not been assessed.
 
 
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The tank demon­strates the develop­ment of the light­station, particularly the improvements to the keepers’ living conditions made in the 1950s (crit­erion a).

14 Paths, stairs and bridges
 
(Source: AMSA, drawing no. QC12950)
 
 
 
 
Paths laid out and paved at various times since 1879.
 
Most of the paths, stairs and bridges date from the late 1950s, but the path and stairs leading down on to the boat landing are older.
 
The timber bridges were replaced in 2010.
 
 
A series of walkways and stairs of concrete cast in situ.
 
The timber bridges are replacements of structures dating from c. 1960.
 
The paths, stairs and bridges are in sound condition, but do not all comply with current standards for width, stair dimensions, or grade.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these rea­sons:
 
The paths, stairs and bridges demonstrate the development and pattern of use of the light­station, particu­larly the arrange­ments for moving around the site and handling stores before the tramway was built (crit­erion a).

The arrangement of paths is a character­istic elem­ent of light­stations (criterion d).

15 Polyethylene water tank
 
 
 
 
New tank installed in 2010.
 
 
 
Cylindrical polyethylene tank, capacity about 5000 L, on a ground level pad.
 
The tank is filled by pumping water from the concrete tank, and supplies water to the two cottages.
 
 
 
Not significant.
 
This is a standard modern type of water tank.

16 Graves
 
 
 
One grave is marked for Carrie Biss (three-year-old daughter of lightkeeper Edwin Biss) who died in 1888.
 
The other grave is unmarked.
 
 
Carrie Biss’s grave has a surround of wrought iron pickets and rails with cast iron finials. The burial details are on a marble plaque with inset lead lettering. The plaque and iron surround are in stable condition apart from minor rusting of the iron.
 
The unmarked grave is of timber, with sawn hardwood posts, rails and pickets. The posts have rotted bases and mortises; the rails have rotted tenons. The structure is in a deteriorated and unstable condition.
 
 
Highly significant for these reasons:
 
The graves demonstrate the isolated life (and death) of light­keepers and their families in the nineteenth century (crit­erion a).

The graves contribute to the aesth­etic value of the light­house (criterion e).

17 Lightstation grounds
 
 
 
 
The site was cleared when the lightstation was established in 1879, and suc­cessive light­keepers have maintained the grounds and introduced plants.
 
 
 
Generally sloping ground with close-cut grass, informal plantings of garden shrubs, palms and trees.
 
The grounds are well tended and maintained.
 
 
 
Moderately significant for these reasons:
 
The grounds form an essential part of the light­station and demonstrate the modification and civilisation of the site by the lightkeepers (crit­erion a).

Carefully tended grounds are characteristic features of manned light­stations (criterion d).
 
The grounds con­tribute to the aesth­etic value of the light­station (criterion e)

18 Boulders
 
 
 
Boulders are natural features of the hill slopes.
 
Geotechnical con­sultants have carried out annual inspec­tions since 2000 to mon­itor the boulders and assess the risk of them becoming dislodged and rolling down the hill and causing damage.
 
Stabilisation works were completed in 2006 and annual mon­itoring continues.
 
 
Boulders as plotted on Figure 16 — Plan showing the location of boulders.
 
The condition of the boulders is believed to be stable, but continues to be monitored.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for this reason:
 
The boulders are a characteristic feature of the landscape setting of the light­station (criterion e).

19 Access road
 
 
 
New road built in 2009 giving access to the lightstation from the network of roads built as part of the golf course devel­opment.
 
 
Concrete surfaced roadway.
 
The road is in a stable condition.
 
 
Not significant, and intrusive.
 
The access road is a visually intrusive feature whose impact could potentially be red­uced by land­scape modifications.

20 Spa bath and roof
 
 
 
Spa bath and shelter roof were installed after 1999 on the concrete floor slab of a previous (lightstation) outbuilding.
 
 
Timber gabled roof supported on timber corner posts, covering a standard spa bath.
 
The structure is in a stable condition.
 
 
Not significant, and intrusive.
 
The spa bath and roof reduce the aesthetic values of the grounds, and have the potential to confuse the evidence of the way of life of the lightkeepers.
 
The remnant concrete floor is of moderate signifi­cance because of its evidence of previous use (criterion a).

 
 
 
 

21 Fowl house
 
 
 
Date of con­struc­tion not known, but probably in the 1950s or 1960s.
 
 
Small shelter with walls sheeted with flat asbestos-cement and roofed with Super-Six corrugated asbestos-cement sheeting.
 
The shelter encloses one side of a yard of wire mesh supported on galvanised pipe posts.
 
The structure is in a stable condition.
 
 
Moderately signifi­cant for these reasons:
 
The fowl house demon­strates the self-sufficiency of the lightkeepers who lived in circum­stances where some local production was needed to ensure a supply of fresh food (crit­erion a).

The fowl house is a characteristic elem­ent of manned light­stations (criterion d).

Images in table by Peter Marquis-Kyle unless otherwise stated
7. Operational requirements
7.1. Requirements for aids to navigation
AMSA is responsible, under the Navigation Act 2012, for maintaining a network of aids to navigation around Australia’s coastline assisting mariners to make safe and efficient passages. AMSA’s present network of 500 aids to navigation includes traditional lighthouses (like the Dent Island Lighthouse), beacons, buoys, racons, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) stations, broadcasting tide gauges and a current meter.
 
Technological developments in the area of vessel traffic management have also contributed to increase the safety of navigation and helped promote marine environment protection. AMSA, in partnership with Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), has implemented a number of initiatives covering the Torres Strait and the inner shipping route of the Great Barrier Reef as part of the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Coastal Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS).
 
7.1.1. Lighthouse performance standards
AMSA aims to meet international standards for the reliability of lighthouses set by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). The Dent Island light is designated as an IALA Availability Category 2 aid to navigation (within a scale of Category 1 to Category 3 and where Category 1 aids are the most important).  Category 2 aids have an availability target of 99.0%.
 
7.1.2. Access to the lighthouse
One practical effect of this performance standard is that the operational equipment and structure of the light need to be kept in good repair by regular preventative maintenance, and that equipment that fails while in service is repaired quickly. Routine maintenance and emergency repairs are carried out by AMSA’s maintenance contractor. The con­tractor needs to have a reliable way to get access to the site for this work, and AMSA officers also need access for occasional inspections of the site including for auditing of the contractor’s performance.
 
Service personnel coming to the lighthouse generally travel via the nearby Hamilton Island airport. Since the golf course has been developed, people attending the light­house have had convenient access, with the help of Hamilton Island staff, by ferry and car. Previously a visit required a helicopter, or access by sea.
7.2. AMSA Heritage Strategy
The AMSA Heritage Strategy 2005–2008 is currently being reviewed and updated. In its present form, the strategy provides for close cooperation with other agencies including the GBRMPA. It sets out the procedures that AMSA will follow to meet its obligations under the EPBC Act.
7.3. Great Barrier Reef Heritage Strategy
The Great Barrier Reef Heritage Strategy is currently being reviewed and updated.  The current strategy states that any action the GBRMPA or its lessees might take that is likely to impact on the heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place will be consistent with the Commonwealth heritage management principles. This heritage management plan is intended to be consistent with these principles and aims to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit to all gener­ations the heritage values of the place.
7.4. Other plans and management considerations
In addition, the use of the lightstation is covered under several existing management con­­trols. These include Commonwealth Island zoning, the leases and permit require­ments. Ongoing consultation with the private lessee takes place as part of these con­trols to ensure any new proposals for use or pressures on the precinct are addressed through the appropriate management framework. The Great Barrier Reef Heritage Strategy includes a dispute resolution process to deal with works proposals that might impact on heritage values. Early consultation with the Heritage and Wildlife Division in the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities in the planning stage of proposals can assist with assessments of likely impacts on the heritage values of the place. These matters are expanded upon in this document’s conservation policies.
7.5. Statutory requirements
7.5.1. Commonwealth legislation
This heritage management plan has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the EPBC Act and the EPBC Regulations, and with consideration for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (GBRMP Act) the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, the Navigation Act 2012 and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990.
 
The main object of GBRMP Act is to provide for the long term protection and conservation of the environment, biodiversity and heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef Region.
 
The EPBC Act requires the GBRMPA and AMSA to prepare management plans that satisfy the obligations included in the EPBC Regulations. The principal features that a management plan must provide are:
 
·         A description of the place, its heritage values, their condition and the method used to assess its significance;
·         An administrative management framework;
·         A description of any proposals for change;
·         An array of conservation policies that protect and manage the place;
·         An implementation plan; and
·         The ways that the policies will be monitored and how the management plan will be reviewed.
 
7.5.2. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning
Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003, part of Dent Island is designated a Commonwealth Islands Zone and may be used or entered without permission for low impact (non-extractive) activities; photography, filming, sound recording, traditional use of marine resources, and limited educational programs. All other activities require written permission. The waters surrounding Dent Island are designated a Habitat Protection (Dark Blue) Zone. The Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan is consistent with the objectives of the Commonwealth Islands Zone to ensure minimal environmental impact.
 
7.5.3. State legislation
The whole of the lightstation and its setting are owned by the Commonwealth, so the place is not entered in the Queensland Heritage Register and the (State) Queensland Heritage Act 1992 does not apply.
 
7.5.4. GBRMPA management requirements and agency mechanisms
Heritage management considerations and principles have been incorporated within the GBRMPA’s administration of the Marine Park. The GBRMPA Board has included heritage matters within the GBRMPA Corporate Plan 2011–2014. In this regard, the GBRMPA adopted the following objectives to adhere to legislative, regulatory and reporting requirements, including heritage obligations.
 
The GBRMPA has several mechanisms in place to ensure appropriate implementation of heritage management plans. In addition to the Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan, conservation of heritage values are managed through:
 
·         Commonwealth Islands zoning, permits and impact assessment requirements
·         policies relating to the protection and values of Dent Island
·         lease requirements for the protection of heritage values.
7.6. Dent Island lease arrangements
 
Three lessees have lease arrangements with the Commonwealth for the Commonwealth part of Dent Island.
 
·         The private lease relates to the use of the island for the maintenance and operation of a golf course (including ancillary services associated with the operation of the golf course), accommodation for caretakers, education and interpretative services, and any other purpose approved in writing by the GBRMPA, and requires the lessee to comply with the requirements set out in this heritage management plan.
o    Part of Lot 2 (Lease B) – Lightstation Area commenced on 7 September 2006 with GBRMPA.;
o    Lot 4 – Resort Area commenced on 7 September 2006 with GBRMPA.
·         The AMSA lease for Lot 1 and the rest of Lot 2 (Lease A) relate to the ongoing operation of the lighthouse. It runs from 3 June 2003 for 99 years. The lease stipulates that AMSA retains ownership of the lighthouse and is responsible for its maintenance.
·         The Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) lease for Lot 3 for aid to navigation purposes initially commenced in 1994 and runs for 50 years.
 
7.6.1. Private lease
Conditions of the lease ensure that the lessee must assist with conserving and maintaining the lightstation to the reason­able standard required by a heritage management plan. The lessee must give the GBRMPA prior notice before commencing any works and GBRMPA must assess potential impacts. The lessee is currently using the former lightkeepers’ cottages for staff accommodation, and the associated buildings are used for storage.
 
7.6.2. AMSA lease
AMSA leases Lot 1 (58 m2) and small area (i.e. Lease A) of Lot 2 (Figure 11 — The areas leased by AMSA). Lot 1 contains the lighthouse and AMSA personnel and contractors need to cross the surrounding area in order to access this lighthouse. Easements over the surrounding lease permit this.
 
7.6.3. MSQ lease
Maritime Safety Queensland leases Lot 3 which is a 1.662 ha area.  This is for the purpose of future aids to navigation and contains an option for the installation of a helipad in a position approved by the GBRMPA.
 

8. Heritage management policies
 
The following conservation policies are provided to guide the management of the Commonwealth heritage values for the Dent Island Lightstation, in a manner con­sistent with the Commonwealth Hheritage management principles.
 
In this chapter the words in italics have the meanings defined in the Burra Charter — definitions of these terms are reproduced in Appendix 10.2. The policies aim to protect and conserve the heritage values. To assist this objective, where nec­essary, the policies are supported by implementation strategies. A commentary is also provided to explain the context of each policy.
8.1. Principles
 
8.1.1. Issue 1: Basis for decisions
Policy 1: The cultural significance of the lightstation will be the basis for deciding how to manage it
 
Commentary
The matters to be conserved are the Commonwealth heritage values of the place. Although the heritage values of the place (its cultural significance) may be expressed in intangible terms, these values can usually be related to, or can be seen to be represented by, the fabric of a place. Actions to conserve the fabric will therefore largely conserve the significance of the place.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Conserve the lightstation to protect and interpret its historical significance.
·         Ensure the continuation of past residential and current uses that maintain the original fabric of the site.
·         Use the Burra Charter as the primary guide for the treatment of fabric (The Burra Charter is the primary reference for managing the heritage values of historic places).
 
8.1.2. Issue 2: The lightstation setting
Policy 2: Protect the visual setting of the lightstation by maintaining its natural character
 
Commentary
Historically, the lightstation was an intensely used and modified landscape, in contrast to its setting, which showed fewer signs of human modification.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Do not permit the intrusion of new structures or alterations in the landscape around the lightstation (300m2).
8.2. Processes
8.2.1. Issue 3: Planning conservation works
Policy 3: Seek expert heritage advice and apply best heritage practice when considering works proposals or changes to the lightstation or when considering major changes to resort facilities
 
Commentary
The development of this heritage management plan has involved consultation with stakeholders and the public.
 
At appropriate times, advice may be sought from the Australian Heritage Council, from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities — Heritage and Wildlife Division, or from the Minister. Advice will be sought if significant impact on the heritage place is expected, or if there is conflict between the management of heritage values and the operational requirements of the GBRMPA or its lessees.
 
The GBRMPA will seek heritage advice, where required, upon receipt of any pro­posals for development, adaptive re-use, or notification of damage to the heritage values of the lightstation or archaeological discoveries. This ensures that the integrity of the heritage values of the lightstation is maintained. Advice may be from an int­ern­al source, other government agencies, the Minister or from an independent expert source, as appropriate.
 
As required under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, any approved activities on the Commonwealth portion of the island are managed to reduce the potential for adverse effects on the heritage values of the lightstation. Potential activities on Dent Island are detailed in the lease agreements. AMSA intends to continue to use the lighthouse as a marine aid to navigation for the foreseeable future. The private lessee intends to continue to use the residential buildings for caretaker accommodation only. Any proposals for development or adaptive re-use of the lightstation must be approved in writing by the GBRMPA.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Consult with the Heritage Division of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) at an early stage when considering proposals involving intervention in fabric or significant change.
·         Use the self assessment tool as contained in Working Together: Managing Commonwealth Heritage Places (DEWHA 2008) to measure the likely extent of impact of a proposal.
·         Consider the significance of any major proposal in the context of the referral provisions in the EPBC Act.
·         Use the Matters of national environmental significance, Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1, EPBC Act 1999 (DEWHA 2009) to assist in identifying the significance of impacts.
·         Prepare a heritage impact statement using expert advice identifying alternatives considered and the level of impacts on the heritage values, in line with the GBRMPA’s Environmental Impact Management processes.
·         Continue the maintenance and use of the lighthouse as a marine aid to navigation.
·         Continue to allow lessee to use the residential buildings for staff accommodation.
 
 
8.2.2. Issue 4: Community consultation
Policy 4: Undertake community, Traditional Owner and stakeholder consultation in the preparation, management and review of the management plan and where actions are likely to impact on the heritage values of the place
 
Commentary
The development of a heritage management plan involves stakeholder and public consultation. Once a heritage management plan has been approved and implem­ented, consultation becomes part of the monitoring process. During reviews of the heritage management plan, further consultation will occur. The GBRMPA has a range of established methods of community and stakeholder consultation, which
it continues to use to satisfy this process.
 
Advisory committees
The GBRMPA aims to provide Australians with effective and meaningful consultation on heritage matters related to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Part of this important process is achieved through regular meetings with the relevant Reef Advisory Committee (RAC) representing expertise-based stakeholders and the relevant Local Marine Advisory Committees representing the local communities. Communication with stakeholders also takes place as ongoing interaction between both lessees and the GBRMPA, and through a broader community engagement process.
 
Traditional Owners
The GBRMPA values the importance of involving Traditional Owners in the management processes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This value is reflected in the Great Barrier Reef Heritage Strategy and the GBRMPA Corporate Plan 2011–2014. These documents identify that the traditional affiliations, culture, heritage values and rights in relation to Traditional Owners must be taken into
account in the management of the Marine Park.
 
The locality and the surrounding area are culturally significant to the Gnaro people who in turn are part of the Birri-Gubba nation. While there is no current native title claim over Dent Island nor the surrounding lands and seas of the Whitsunday region, the Gnaro people are widely acknowledged as the Traditional Owners of the Whitsunday region.
 
The GBRMPA will maintain consultation with Traditional Owners through existing arrangements to ensure their continued involvement in the heritage management plan. Traditional Owner consultation for the Whitsunday Islands area is achieved in many ways, for example, through one-on-one consultation with Elders, contact with Field Management staff from the GBRMPA and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, involvement on the Local Marine Advisory Committee and contact through the North Queensland Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (NQLCAC).
 
The GBRMPA’s Indigenous Partnerships Group regularly meets with Traditional Owners and their representative bodies. The GBRMPA notifies of possible actions in relation to permit applications (to the GBRMPA or the National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR)) in accordance with the Native Title Act 1993.
 
Government
The GBRMPA recognises that maintaining strategies for liaison with all Common­wealth and State agencies with a relevant interest in heritage matters in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is crucial to the effective management of Commonwealth heritage values. Consequently, an ongoing action for the GBRMPA is to maintain this contact through formal and informal mechanisms.
 
Ongoing consultation with SEWPaC and AMSA occurs for the purposes of heritage management, environmental management and ongoing maintenance of aids to navigation. Consultation at the early stages of project development or initiation of works proposals has the advantage of avoiding unnecessary delays and costly plan revisions. Consultation with heritage experts can also minimise or mitigate significant impacts on heritage values.
 
Lessees
The GBRMPA will maintain consultation with lessees utilising the Dent Island Lightstation.  Where significant impacts are a possibility, consideration will be given by the GBRMPA as to whether a referral under the EPBC Act is required. This includes the consideration of impacts to the environment that can occur away from the affected place. In the case of Dent Island Lightstation for example, other works and development to the golf course could have impacts on the aesthetic values of the place.
 
Consultation by AMSA
AMSA conducts consultation with the maritime industry through the Navigational Services Advisory Group (NSAG). NSAG is the peak consultative body to AMSA for matters relating to AMSA’s responsibilities for the safety of navigation in Australian waters.
 
The role of the committee is to provide expert maritime industry advice on requirements for aids to navigation and other nautical and navigational safety matters. The committee is co-chaired by AMSA’s Manager Nautical and Regulation Safety and Manager Aids to Navigation. Its members include representatives of ship owners, operators and pilots; the Royal Australian Navy Australian Hydrographic Service; and officers of AMSA.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Undertake community consultation when reviewing the heritage management plan in accordance with Section 341X of the EPBC Act..
·         Continue to liaise as necessary with the Reef Advisory Committee, the relevant Local Marine Advisory Committees and local Indigenous communities in the management of the heritage values of the lightstation.
·         Seek advice from local Indigenous communities when dealing with sensitive information and refer to the document Ask first: a guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values (AHC 2002) to guide consultations.
·         Apply standard Commonwealth privacy and security requirements, for the management of sensitive information.
·         Consult respective stakeholders in matters where sensitive or commercial-in-confidence information is involved in the management of the place.
 
8.2.3. Issue 5: Review
Policy 5: Review the plan within five years of its adoption by the Minister as a plan consistent with Commonwealth heritage management principles
 
Commentary
A management plan is affected by changes over time such as when administrative arrange­ments change, where leases require amendment and where there are technological advances. This heritage management plan needs to be kept under review to take into account any change that might alter the basis for its application. Legislative re­quire­ments oblige Commonwealth agencies to review a management plan for a Com­monwealth Heritage place once within every five-year period. This review will be undertaken in accordance with the EPBC Act and Regulations.
 
The GBRMPA has a list of information needs for management available for searching at its website (see: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/). Several questions pertain to man­age­ment of islands and cays, some of which are applicable to Dent Island. The GBRMPA reviews this list regularly and information needs in relation to Commonwealth Heritage matters will be added as required.
 
Implementation strategy
·        Review this heritage management plan as required, or no later than five years after its adoption.
 
8.2.4. Issue 6: Reporting and monitoring
Policy 6: Report and monitor on an annual basis using the GBRMPA and AMSA existing administrative arrangements any change or impact on the heritage values of the place
 
Commentary
The success of conservation will be monitored through regular reporting, inspections and the use of the agencies’ databases.
 
In accordance with the EPBC Act (s. 341ZB), the GBRMPA and AMSA will each maintain a register containing information on Commonwealth Heritage places they own or control including the Dent Island Lightstation. Information that will be included in these registers are:
 
·         A description of the Commonwealth heritage values.
·         The current condition of the Commonwealth heritage values as reported by the tenants and from inspections by the GBRMPA representatives.
·         A record of all work carried out on the lightstation — this will include photographs, written documentation and drawings/plans.
·         A record of all proposals for development or adaptive re-use of the lightstation.
·         A record of all actual developments or adaptive re-use of the lightstation.
·         A record of all past and present heritage management plans for the lightstation.
 
All the above information will be entered into the registers as soon as practicable after receipt.
 
The private lessee will be required under the terms of the lease to report to the GBRMPA on the state of the Com­monwealth heritage values on an annual basis. Visual inspections of the heritage values will be conducted annually by relevant GBRMPA/QPWS representatives.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Use of databases in the management of the lightstation.
 
8.2.5. Issue 7: Recording decisions
Policy 7: The GBRMPA and AMSA will ensure that adequate records of the pro­cesses for making decisions about the conservation of the Dent Island lightstation are created and kept
 
Commentary
As part of the proper process for managing change in significant places, the Burra Charter points out the importance of making records before any change, and advocates placing the records in a permanent archive, and making them available where this is appropriate (Australia ICOMOS 1999, article 27.2 [Managing change] and article 32 [Records]).
 
Implementation strategy
1.     The GBRMPA and AMSA to maintain records through existing administrative arrangements.
 
8.3. Skills
8.3.1. Issue 8: Expert advice
Policy 8: The GBRMPA and AMSA will ensure that appropriate knowledge, skills and advice are applied in the conservation of the lightstation
 
Commentary
The Burra Charter, in article 4.1, calls for using all the knowledge, skills and discip­lines which can contribute to the study and care of a place. Relevant technical knowledge and skills are held by practitioners in various conservation disciplines, such as archaeologists, historians, engineers, architects and landscape architects.
 
Article 26.3 deals with the contribution of people who have associations with the place — in this case, people who lived at the lightstation or were involved with its operation are important sources of knowledge and advice.
 
Implementation strategy
2.     Expertise will be sourced as appropriate.
 
8.3.2. Issue 9: Staff training
Policy 9: Develop and implement a staff and community awareness training program to improve the knowledge and respect for the heritage values of the place
 
Commentary
Relevant staff will be trained in the legislative requirements that pertain to heritage matters and, where necessary, appropriate training and material on heritage matters will be provided to managers and administrators who have responsibility for heritage management (including relevant stakeholders).
 
Implementation strategy
·         Where necessary, and where resources and priorities permit, conduct appropriate training on heritage matters for managers and administrators who have respon­sibility for heritage management including relevant stakeholders.
8.4. Use of the lighthouse
 
8.4.1. Issue 10: Continuity of the aids to navigation
Policy 10: AMSA will continue to operate the Dent Island Lighthouse for as long as it is required for safety of navigation by the commercial shipping industry that pays the Marine Navigation Levy
 
Commentary
The Dent Island light is designated as a Category 2 aid to navigation under the IALA Availability performance standards Category 2 aids have an availability target of 99.0%. This rating is an indication that the Dent Island light is an impor­tant part of the system of aids to navigation in the area.
 
 
Implementation strategy
·         Continue regular operation and servicing of the lighthouse.
 
8.4.2. Issue 11: Maintaining clear view of the light from the sea
Policy 11: Trees which intrude between Dent Island Lighthouse and vessels in the Whitsunday Passage will be removed
 
Commentary
Although the vegetation growing in the lightstation and its setting contribute to the heritage value of the place, allowing trees to obstruct mariners’ sight of the light would conflict with the effective use of the site for its significant function. Because of the steep slopes only a few trees are potentially obstructive.
 
Implementation strategy
3.     AMSA to monitor the trees, and request the GBRMPA to arrange for removal of any that intrude.
 
8.4.3. Issue 12: Access to the lighthouse
Policy 12: The interior of the lighthouse is to be accessible only to people authorised by AMSA
 
Commentary
The situation of the Dent Island Lighthouse, and the nature of its fabric, make its interior unsuitable for access by the public. The lighthouse is likely to be visited several times each year, either by officers of AMSA or by maintenance contractors —  these people are authorised by AMSA and trained in the appropriate safety procedures.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Continue present arrangements for access to the lighthouse by AMSA officers or people authorised by AMSA.
·         AMSA to manage access to its leased area including the lighthouse in accordance with AMSA’s workplace health and safety policies and procedures.
8.5. Use of the rest of the lightstation
8.5.1. Issue 13: Occupation of the cottages
Policy 13: Both of the cottages should continue in use as dwellings
 
Commentary
Continuous occupation of the houses, by people who understand the heritage values of the lightstation, is an excellent conservation measure. Residents can constantly observe and monitor the condition of the structures, and facilitate timely maintenance. The lessee’s staff, chosen for their aptitude and interest, can be good custodians of the cottages, ancillary buildings and the grounds.
 
8.5.2. Issue 14: Access to the lightstation
Policy 14: Secure and protect the lightstation from unauthorised access
 
Commentary
The relative remoteness of Dent Island makes access challenging and provides the lightstation with a natural security buffer. Most visitors to the island now arrive by ferry from Hamilton Island. Access to the island and precinct is limited by the Commonwealth Island zoning, lease and permit requirements.
 
The private lessee controls access to the buildings within the lightstation.
 
AMSA personnel and contractors periodically visit the AMSA lease to inspect and maintain the lighthouse.  Previous access was via helicopter, now with improved access from Hamilton Island (by boat), AMSA will transport equipment and material to the island via boat thus when reaching the island, will require access through the golf course and the historic lightstation area to reach the AMSA lease.
Implementation strategy
·         Ensure that island visitors are aware of the heritage values of the lightstation by making available appropriate information, such as excerpts from this heritage management plan.
·         Ensure the heritage values of the lightstation are protected through controls on access to all buildings within the lightstation.
·         Protect access to the lightstation to comply with workplace health and safety measures.
 
8.5.3. Issue 15: Special interest visits
Policy 15: Allow occasional visits to the lightstation by small numbers of people with a particular interest, to the extent this is compatible with continued occupation of the cottages
 
Commentary
There are groups of people, including formally incorporated bodies such as Light­houses of Australia Inc., who are interested in the history and conservation of light­stations like Dent Island. Such groups make up a very knowledgeable and appreciative audience, who would value the opportunity of visiting the site.
 
AMSA has a practice of opening otherwise closed lighthouses for public access. This is primarily done to coincide with major events in the life of the lighthouse, such as 100th and 150th anniversaries. However AMSA reserves the right to decide whether such events occur, based on the findings of a risk analysis and the availability of personnel.
 
More generally, the decision to open the lightstation (but not the lighthouse) for occasional visits is a matter for the GBRMPA and its private lessee. Again, a decision to do so would need to be based on the findings of a risk analysis and the availability of personnel.
 
Implementation strategy
4.     The GBRMPA and AMSA develop and adopt, in consultation with the private lessee, a protocol for approving and conducting special interest visits to the lightstation.
8.6. Conserving the lighthouse
8.6.1. Issue 16: Ongoing maintenance
Policy 16: Continue the scheduled periodic maintenance of the lighthouse
 
Commentary
The good condition of the lighthouse reflects the continuous maintenance it has received, carried out by the resident lightkeepers from 1879 to 1983, then by visiting Commonwealth staff, and more recently by AMSA’s contractors.
 
Implementation strategy
5.     AMSA to arrange for maintenance to be carried out to the lighthouse as required while the lighthouse continues to operate as an AMSA aid to navigation.
 
8.6.2. Issue 17: Equipment changes and upgrades
Policy 17: Install and operate equipment in the lighthouse, so that it continues to function as an effective marine aid to navigation, in such a way as to cause the least possible harm to the significant fabric
 
Commentary
The 1879 tower has proved to be a versatile and durable structure, which has been adapted to accommodate changes in lighthouse technology. Future generations of equipment should be installed in a reversible manner (so that it can, in turn, be replaced by the next generation, without damage to significant fabric).
 
Implementation strategy
6.     Continue replacement and upgrading of aids to navigation in the lighthouse as required to meet AMSA’s service commitment, in a manner that preserves the early fabric of the lighthouse.
7.     AMSA to maintain information on the heritage fabric of the lighthouse, including any changes to the fabric, in a heritage fabric register.
 
8.7. Conserving the other lightstation elements
8.7.1. Issue 18: Protection and management of significant fabric
Policy 18: Protect and conserve the significant external and internal fabric of the lightstation, including existing buildings, layout and setting
 
Commentary — conservation, repair or restoration
To protect and conserve fabric and elements expert conserving processes may be needed. The application of these processes is often technically complicated and may require expert advice and work skills. Particular care is needed when repairing, restoring or reconstructing historic fabric to ensure as much significant fabric is retained as possible.
 
The significance of the place and its heritage values can be made more visible by removing more modern elements if the opportunity arises and when priorities and resources permit (e.g. when adaptive works are contemplated or future technology allows). If practical, original fabric or items removed from the place may be considered for retrieval and installation if appropriate.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Conserve all the elements identified as significant in the table of physical elements (Section 6.2) and their setting.
·         If and when identified and necessary, seek expert materials conservation advice when considering repair, restoration and reconstruction of historic fabric.
 
Commentary — maintaining the fabric of the lightstation
Maintenance of heritage places sometimes involves the need to replace decayed or damaged fabric. The Burra Charter recommends doing only as much as necessary but as little as possible.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Minimise the extent of any intervention in significant fabric by removing only those parts requiring replacement for structural or safety reasons.
·         Replace or patch the damaged or decayed fabric with like but easily identified as new fabric inserted into the structure or material (see Burra Charter).
 
Commentary — the setting
The history of changes to vegetation — including the results of past clearing, grazing, household gardening and revegetation — is part of the cultural significance of the Dent Island Lightstation. Where the protection of cultural values is inconsistent with other conservation aims, such conflicts should be resolved by finding a subtle balance. Instances of possible conflict include the coconut palm trees that hang over the roofs of the houses — these mature trees are significant for their evidence of the lightkeepers’ adapting their surroundings, but they now pose a risk of damaging the brittle asbestos-cement roof sheeting in times of strong winds. In this case it might be appropriate to remove the trees as they approach senescence and replace them with younger specimens. Another possible conflict concerns introduced garden plants, which demonstrate the pattern of household gardening by the lightkeepers, some of which are invasive and threaten the native vegetation.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Maintain evidence of significant vegetation patterns by timely removal and replanting, with appropriate expert advice.
·         In the process of planning the management of vegetation on Dent Island, take account of the cultural significance of plant material.
·         Recognise the importance of maintaining the lightstation as a significant landmark feature seen from the sea. Structures that obscure or distract from these views should not be constructed.
·         For planning purposes the area around the lightstation seen from the Whitsunday Passage, from the foreshore to the sky and extending 300 m north and south of the lightstation, should be treated as an area of particular sensitivity in relation to heritage values associated with the lightstation.
 
8.7.2. Issue 19: Adaptation
Policy 19: Consider only new adaptive re-uses for the place that are compatible with its cultural significance
 
Commentary
Heritage places are often subject to change over time to provide for new uses. Making use of a heritage place is often the most effective measure to ensure its conservation. Adaptation can also have an adverse impact if a new use requires intrusive adaptation to the significant fabric. Adaptation of a lighthouse area for a new use is not always an easy or suitable way to manage the place because of its distinctive form and because a new use often requires additional accommodation that confuses the stand-alone quality. Adaptation for new uses must therefore be tempered to ensure that the new use does not diminish the capacity for its easy interpretation.
 
Changes to the lightstation area may be allowed to implement reasonable use of the lightstation area, consistent with its heritage significance, provided the heritage management plan policies are followed.
 
Elements of the fabric of the lightstation area, which are deemed to have a hazardous or harmful effect (for example, asbestos-related materials in a decayed, frayed or unstable condition or lead-based paint), may require containment, modification or, if there is no feasible or prudent alternative, its removal. If removal is necessary because of its hazardous state, legislative requirements govern this process. Where asbestos is not in an unstable condition its retention and maintenance, as part of the significant fabric, is appropriate.
 
Adaptation of the fabric may be permitted provided the cultural significance of the lightstation is not adversely affected. Such adaptation may include changes to bring the accommodation up to reasonable modern standards.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Conserve the current colour scheme and distinctive character of the place by:
not permitting any additional structures to be built, or structural changes, visible from the Whitsunday Passage, from the foreshore to the sky and extending 300 m north and south of the lightstation
o    collecting, prior to and immediately following any conservation, maintenance, preservation or adaptation work, photographic evidence of the fabric for historical records and interpretive use
o    undertaking paint scrapes to identify original colour coatings used on historic fabric
o    using protective coatings in the colours found by the paint scrape technique.
·         Consider for the purposes of conservation, a viable economic use for the lightstation area, to ensure the maintenance of all significant fabric and its protection from non-action.
·         Do only what is necessary for the continued use and care of the place.
·         Make changes apparent on close inspection, to protect the authenticity of the place.
·         Make changes reversible, so that their impact can be removed in future.
·         Approval in writing must be granted for any proposals for development or adaptive re-use.
·         Consider any proposed alterations or adaptations that impact on the heritage values of the place.
·         Use and comply with:
o    Approved Maintenance requirements.
o    The approved Environmental Management System (to be implemented under the lease and permits for the private lessee for Dent Island).
·         Compatible with the original fabric of the place and current workplace health and safety requirements:
o    Retain in situ asbestos material that is stable, and contained to the extent that it is not in a hazardous condition.
o    Remove hazardous, unstable and frayed asbestos in accordance with Australian legislative requirements.
o    Replace removed hazardous asbestos with materials of the same profile, thickness and size as the fabric removed.
o    Remove lead-based paint found to be in an uncontained, unstable or decaying condition.
o    Upgrade the kitchen and bathroom facilities compatible with the fabric of the place.
o    Install air-conditioning equipment in a discreet, visually benign and appropriate place.
 
8.7.3. Issue 20: Below-ground fabric
Policy 20: In the event of unforeseen discoveries or disturbances (for example, works that expose any archaeological remains), cease work until appropriate advice is obtained
 
Commentary
The Environmental Management System to be implemented under the lease and permits for the private lessee for Dent Island will outline the response to emergencies and new discoveries on the island. Well-documented records of the lightstation assist in this process.
 
In the case of potential or actual damage to the heritage values of the lightstation or archaeological discoveries, the GBRMPA and AMSA will seek heritage advice.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Seek appropriate heritage advice and apply best heritage practice in the event of unforeseen discoveries or disturbances.
 
8.7.4. Issue 21: Services
Policy 21: Keep new piped and wired services distribution lines underground, and plan for least disturbance of below-ground evidence
 
Commentary
Recent works carried out by the private lessee have included installation of underground power cables, telephone cables and water supply lines.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Coordinate installation of services to occupy common trenches as far as possible.
·         Plan the location of trenches to avoid areas formerly occupied by structures.
 
8.7.5. Issue 22: Hazardous materials
Policy 22: Avoid the release of hazardous materials by avoidance, encapsulation or replacement
 
Commentary
Most of the lightstation buildings include at least some asbestos-cement components, such as corrugated roof sheeting and accessories, and wall and ceiling linings. Another potentially hazardous material is paint containing lead pigment.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Safely remove or encapsulate lead paint.
·         Stabilise or avoid disturbance of asbestos-cement.
·         Investigate replacement of asbestos-cement with non-hazardous alternatives.
 
8.7.6. Issue 23: Vegetation
Policy 23: Maintain the evidence of historical landscape management practices such as clearing of native vegetation and the introduction of garden plants, while protecting against the propagation of weeds outside of the immediate lightstation area
 
Commentary
The GBRMPA obtains advice from the QPWS on fire management plans for Dent Island, and will include Dent Island in regional pest and weed management strategies. Appendix 10.9 lists introduced garden plants at the lightstation.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Manage the vegetation in the lightstation area in ways that keep the evidence of cultural practices.
 
8.7.7. Issue 24: The engine room
Policy 24: Maintain and conserve the engine room, while adapting it for use as the electrical distribution point for the lightstation
 
Commentary
The building contains a mixture of equipment, some of which was introduced after the station was automated and de-manned — this later equipment is not significant.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Leave in situ any equipment associated with the operation of the manned lightstation.
·         Install new equipment in a reversible manner.
 
8.7.8. Issue 25: The winch house and derrick crane
Policy 25: Maintain and conserve the winch house, derrick crane and associated structures
 
Commentary
These structures — including the winch house, landing platform, landing stage, derrick crane, boat platform and access ladder — are to be conserved in accordance with an engineer’s report prepared in 2012.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Stabilise the concrete slab of the landing platform.
·         Conserve the derrick crane and winch house.
·         Preserve the machinery.
 
8.7.9. Issue 26: The cottages
Policy 26: Maintain and conserve the two cottages, with minor adaptation to support continued use
 
Commentary
Following extensive refurbishment carried out by the private lessee, with the approval of the GBRMPA, the houses are in sound and secure condition, and fit for use by the staff who live in them.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Continue regular maintenance of the two cottages.
·         Adapt the cottages in a reversible manner to facilitate continued domestic use.
 
8.7.10. Issue 27: The septic system
Policy 27: Maintain the septic system
 
Commentary
The two cottages are connected to a drainage system, intended to deal with liquid waste from kitchens, bathrooms and toilets. This system was installed when the cottages were built, and it continues in service.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Prevent disposal of waste material that is incompatible with the septic system.
·         Monitor the performance of the system, and do periodic maintenance as required for proper operation.
 
8.7.11. Issue 28: The concrete water tank
Policy 28: Maintain the concrete water tank to ensure an adequate supply of water
 
Commentary
The concrete water tank has recently been refurbished by the private lessee. It stores rainwater from the roofs of the houses. Water is pumped from this tank up to a new header tank on the hill behind the houses, from where it feeds by gravity to the houses.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Periodically inspect the tank to ensure the soundness of the structure and safety of the water supply.
 
8.7.12. Issue 29: The tramline
Policy 29: Preserve the fabric of the tramway, trolley and cable
 
Commentary
The tramway and its associated equipment demonstrates the historical pattern of use of the site by the keepers. It was an important facility, along with the winch and crane, for the safe handling of fuel, stores and equipment delivered by sea.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Move the trolley to the top of the tramway, and protect it with a removable lightweight cover.
·         Protect the two steel turning blocks (presently lying on the ground) by moving them to a location on site that is under cover.
 
8.7.13. Issue 30: The paths, stairs and bridges
Policy 30: Preserve the paths, stairs and bridges. Adapt them to the minimum extent necessary for the safe occupation of the cottages.
 
Commentary
These paths and stairs have been laid out and built in stages, and they demonstrate the historical pattern of use of the site by the keepers. The present arrangement generally reflects the state of the lightstation after the two cottages were built in the 1950s. The stairs are narrow, and their inconsistent dimensions do not meet current design standards. However, only some of the routes are in regular use now, since the lighthouse and the winch house are not in use. The safety of the paths and stairs that give access to the cottages is a current issue.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Add standard galvanised steel tubular railings (as used for functional structures at Hamilton Island) where needed for safe use of the paths next to the cottages.
 
8.7.14. Issue 31: The polyethylene water tank
Policy 31: Allow native vegetation to mask the views of the tank
 
Commentary
The header tank recently installed by the private lessee on the hill behind the cottages is visible at present.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Plant appropriate vegetation around the tank.
 
8.7.15. Issue 32: The graves
Policy 32: Preserve the fabric and evidence of the graves
 
Commentary
The two grave surrounds — one of wrought iron, the other of timber pickets — are poignant reminders of life and death on remote lightstations.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Repair the wooden enclosure, reconstructing any missing or unsound parts to match the detail of the original, and causing the least possible disturbance of the ground.
·         Protect the graves and the area around them from disturbance.
 
8.7.16. Issue 33: The lightstation grounds
Policy 33: Maintain the character of the grounds, and their evidence of use
 
Commentary
The lightstation grounds — with their tended grass and introduced plants — reflect the ordered life of the keepers and their families.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Continue mowing and maintenance of the grass.
·         Remove overgrown or senescent plantings.
·         Maintain an unobstructed view of the lighthouse from seaward.
 
8.7.17. Issue 34: The boulders
Policy 34: Continue stabilisation and monitoring of the boulders on the hill behind the lightstation
 
Commentary
There have been several campaigns of work to ensure the boulders are not dis­lod­ged, as recorded in the drawing by Cardno Ullman & Nolan, geotechnical engineers, reproduced in Appendix 10.8.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Monitor the positions of the boulders annually in accordance with the geotechnical engineer’s recommendations.
 
8.7.18. Issue 35: The access road
Policy 35: Allow native vegetation to soften the visible edges of the road. Do not develop any structured garden bed or plantings along the line of the road.
 
Commentary
The concrete roadway is visually intrusive. It can be made less intrusive with vegetation that merges with the surrounding landscape.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Remove exotic plantings from beside the road, and encourage informal growth of native vegetation.
 
8.7.19. Issue 36: The spa bath
Policy 36: Remove the spa bath and shelter, keeping the remains of the base of the old shed
 
Commentary
The spa is not currently used, and is visually intrusive.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Remove the spa bath and shelter.
 
8.7.20. Issue 37: The fowl house
Policy 37: Preserve the fowl house and run
 
Commentary
The fowl house and fenced enclosure demonstrate the practice of keeping chickens for eggs and meat.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Protect the structure from disturbance.
8.8. Interpretation
8.8.1. Issue 38: Explaining the history of the site
Policy 38: Collect and organise documentary material that explains the historical use and development of the lightstation and make it available to people who use or visit the site or who have an interest
 
Commentary
The site is remote, and is not proposed to be developed for regular public visiting. There is only a small audience for interpretation — staff who live at the lightstation, plus very occasional special interest visitors.
 
There is a wider audience of people who are interested to know about the light­station, although they are unlikely to visit — this is a potential audience for books, magazine articles, online pieces or other media.
 
Implementation strategy
·         Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan available on site and associated artefacts and documents maintained on site.      
 
9. Implementation plan
 
Key Issue
Ref No.
Task
Priority
Primary
Responsibility
Duration

Cultural significance
8.1.1
Conserve the lightstation
High
GBRMPA and AMSA
2013

8.2.3
Review the heritage management plan within five years
Low
GBRMPA and AMSA
2018-2019

Cultural values
8.8.1
Organise documentary material regarding historical use
Medium
GBRMPA
Ongoing

Visual setting
8.1.2
No intrusion of new structures or landscape alteration
High
GBRMPA
Ongoing

Community consultation
8.2.2
Community, Traditional Owner and stakeholder consultation
Medium
GBRMPA and AMSA
As required

Reporting
8.2.4
Report and monitor on an annual basis
High
Lessee, GBRMPA and AMSA
Ongoing

8.2.5
Ensure adequate records are kept
Medium
GBRMPA and AMSA
Ongoing

Expert heritage advice
8.2.1
Apply best heritage practice when considering works
High
GBRMPA and AMSA
Ongoing

8.3.1
Ensure appropriate knowledge, skills and advice
Medium
GBRMPA and AMSA
As required

Staff & community awareness
8.3.2
Staff and community awareness training program
Low
GBRMPA and AMSA
Ongoing

Adaptive re-use
8.7.2
Any new uses must be compatible with cultural significance
Medium
GBRMPA
As required

Lighthouse
8.4.1
Continued use by AMSA as an aid to navigation
High
AMSA
Ongoing

8.4.3
Interior access only if AMSA authorised
High
AMSA
Ongoing

Lighthouse
Maintenance
8.6.1
Scheduled periodic maintenance
High
AMSA
Ongoing

8.6.2
Continue as an effective marine aid to navigation
High
AMSA
Ongoing

Lightstation
8.5.1
Use of cottages as dwellings
Medium
GBRMPA
Ongoing

8.5.2
Secure against unauthorised access
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.5.3
Special occasion visits
Low
Lessee
As required

Lightstation Maintenance
8.7.1
External and internal fabric of lightstation
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.3
Discovery of archaeological remains
Medium
Lessee
As required

8.7.4
Underground services
Medium
Lessee
As required

8.7.5
Avoid release of hazardous materials
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.7
Conserve and adapt the use of engine room
Medium
Lessee
2013 and ongoing

8.7.8
Winch house and derrick crane
High
Lessee
2013 and Ongoing

8.7.9
Conserve two cottages
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.10
Maintain septic system
Medium
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.11
Maintain concrete water tank
Medium
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.12
Tramway, trolley and cable
High
Lessee
2013 and ongoing

8.7.13
Paths, stairs and bridges
High
Lessee
2013 and ongoing

8.7.15
Preserve fabric of graves
High
Lessee
2013 and ongoing

8.7.17
Stabilisation of boulders
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.19
Spa bath and shelter
Low
Lessee
2014

8.7.20
Fowl house and run
Medium
Lessee
2013-2014

Vegetation
8.4.2
Dent Island light not obstructed by vegetation
High
Lessee
As required

Vegetation management
8.7.6
Maintain the evidence of historical landscape
Medium
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.14
Vegetation to mask the tank
Medium
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.16
Maintain character of grounds
High
Lessee
Ongoing

8.7.18
Native vegetation along road
Medium
Lessee
Ongoing



10. Appendices
10.1. Bibliography
AHC (Australian Heritage Commission) 2002, Ask first: a guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values, AHC, Canberra.
 
AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) 2004, Aids to navigation schedule AN362-01, Issue 11, AMSA, Canberra.
 
Anonymous 1879, ‘Northern Lights, II’, Brisbane Courier, 29 November 1879, page 3 and Queenslander, 6 December 1879, page 716. 
 
Anonymous 1917, ‘Swept by a hurricane, damage at Dent Island…’, Brisbane Courier, 5 January 1917, p. 7.
 
Australia ICOMOS 1999, The Burra Charter: the Australia ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance, Australia ICOMOS, Melbourne.
 
Australian National Maritime Museum undated, Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, viewed 28 June 2012, .
 
Blackwood, R. 1997, The Whitsunday Islands: an historical dictionary, Central Queensland University Press, Townsville.
 
Buchanan, S. 1994, The lighthouse keepers, Coral Coast Publications, Samford.
 
Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1922, Dent Island: proposed tram line, crane, oil store and boatshed…, drawing 13-22, dated 21 July 1922, National Archives of Australia, A9568, 3/3/1.
 
Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1925, Dent Island Q: proposed installation of mercury float…, drawing no. 7-39, dated 8 September 1925, in the AMSA collection.
 
Commonwealth Lighthouse Service 1951, Proforma lightstation data and report sheets for Dent Island, commenced 5 September 1951, in the AMSA collection.
 
Coppinger, R.W. 1883, Cruise of the 'Alert': four years in Patagonian, Polynesian, and Mascarene waters (1878–82). W. Swann Sonnenschein and Co., London.
 
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts (2008) Working Together: Managing Commonwealth Heritage Places, Canberra, A. C. T.
 
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts (2009) Matters of national environmental significance, Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1, EPBC Act 1999, Canberra, A. C. T.
 
Farr, T.H. 1965, Proserpine: an historical review and current development,
Proserpine Shire Council.
 
Gibbney, H.J. 1972, ‘Heath, George Poynter (1830–1921)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, viewed 28 June 2012, .
 
Heath, G.P. 1879, ‘Notice to mariners, no. 20 of 1879, revolving light, Dent Island, Whitsunday Passage’, Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 28 October 1879,  p. 2.
 
House of Representatives 1984, Lighthouses: do we keep the keepers?: report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Expenditure, Australian Government Publication Service, Canberra.
 
Kerr, J.S. 2004, The conservation plan: a guide to the preparation of conservation plans for places of European cultural significance, 6th ed, National Trust of Australia (NSW), Sydney.
 
Ramsbotham, J.F. 1919, ‘The lighting of the Great Barrier Reef, North of Cooktown, Queensland: a paper read before the Liverpool Engineering Society: 6 March 1918’, Transactions of the Liverpool Engineering Society, vol. XL, 1919.
 
Reid, G. 1988, From dusk till dawn: a history of Australian lighthouses, Macmillan Australia, South Melbourne.
 
Select Committee … 1864, ‘Report from the select committee on the rivers and harbours of the colony’, Queensland Journals of the Legislative Council (with papers), vol. vii, paper no. 37.
 
Thorburn, J.H. 1967, ‘Major lighthouses of Queensland, part 2’, Queensland Heritage, vol. 1, no. 7, November, pp. 15–17.
10.2. Definitions of terms from the Burra Charter
These definitions are quoted from article 1 of The Burra Charter: the Australia ICOMOS charter for places of cultural significance, 1999.
 
Adaptation means modifying a place to suit the existing use or a proposed use.
 
Associations mean the special connections that exist between people and a place.
 
Compatible use means a use which respects the cultural significance of a place. Such a use involves no, or minimal, impact on cultural significance.
 
Conservation means all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its cultural significance.
 
Cultural significance means aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations. Cultural significance is embodied in the place itself, its fabric, setting, use, associations, meanings, records, related places and related objects. Places may have a range of values for different individuals or groups.
 
Fabric means all the physical material of the place including components, fixtures, contents, and objects.
 
Interpretation means all the ways of presenting the cultural significance of a place.
 
Maintenance means the continuous protective care of the fabric and setting of a place, and is to be distinguished from repair. Repair involves restoration or reconstruction and should be treated accordingly.
 
Meanings denote what a place signifies, indicates, evokes or expresses.
 
Place means site, area, land, landscape, building or other work, group of buildings or other works, and may include components, contents, spaces and views.
 
Preservation means maintaining the fabric of a place in its existing state and retarding deterioration.
 
Reconstruction means returning a place to a known earlier state and is distinguished from restoration by the introduction of new material into the fabric.
 
Related place means a place that contributes to the cultural significance of another place.
 
Related object means an object that contributes to the cultural significance of a place but is not at the place.
 
Restoration means returning the existing fabric of a place to a known earlier state by removing accretions or by reassembling existing components without the introduction of new material.
 
Setting means the area around a place, which may include the visual catchment.
 
Use means the functions of a place, as well as the activities and practices that may occur at the place.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.3. Entry in the Commonwealth Heritage List, with recommended corrections
The following excerpt from the Australian Heritage Database is marked to show suggested revisions based on the findings of this heritage management study. The original text was retrieved from the website on 5 July 2012 and is shown in italic type. Recommended additions to the text are shown in bold italic type, and text to be removed is shown struck out.
 
Summary Statement of Significance
 
Dent Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1879, is significant as a light tower built in response to, and to further encourage, the dramatic expansion of regular coastal shipping along the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef, following the economic development of Northern Queensland (Criterion A.4). The Lighthouse is significant as a an intact representative example of a timber-framed, iron clad tower (Type B), an adaptation by the Queensland Government of the imported prefabricated type using components from the United Kingdom an innovative structural system designed in the office of the Queensland Colonial Architect and typical of Queensland lighthouses of the time (Criterion D.2). Dent Island Lighthouse is important as one of a pair of identical lighthouse towers in the Whitsunday Passage built at the same time, the other being situated at Cape Cleveland (Criterion D.2). The Lightstation Complex of tower, houses, store shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c. 1960, is significant as a complete intact example of a Lightstation Complex in Queensland. Later stages of development have integrated with the original fabric and detail of the Lightstation, contributing to the continuum of a complex dedicated to the single aim of maintaining the aids to navigation aid to navigation (Criterion A.4).
 
Official Values
 
Criterion A Processes
 
Dent Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1879, is significant as a light tower built in response to, and to further encourage, 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 Complex of tower, houses, store shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c. 1960 is significant as a complete intact example of a Lightstation Complex in Queensland. Later stages of development have integrated with the original fabric and detail of the Lightstation, contributing to the continuum of a complex dedicated to the single aim of maintaining the aids to navigation aid to navigation.
 
Attributes
The lighthouse and its relationship to the houses, storage shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room, dating from 1879 to c. 1960.
 
Criterion D Characteristic values
 
The Lighthouse is significant as an intact representative example of a timber-  framed, iron clad tower (Type B), an adaptation by the Queensland Government of the imported prefabricated type using components from the United Kingdom an innovative structural system designed in the office of the Queensland Colonial Architect and typical of Queensland lighthouses of the time. Dent Island Lighthouse is important as one of a pair of identical lighthouse towers in the Whitsunday Passage built at the same time, the other being situated at Cape Cleveland.
 
Attributes
The structural system and all of the fabric including timber framing and iron cladding.
 
Description
 
Dent Island is one of the group of islands that form the eastern edge of the Whitsunday Passage. The light provides navigational guidance for ships passing through the narrow passage between Whitsunday Island and the islands adjacent to the mainland.
 
The construction of lighthouses along the Queensland coast in the second half of the nineteenth century was in response to the quite dramatic expansion of regular coastal shipping along the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef following 1870. Prior to this period the major users of the inner route had been international shipping. The first imported prefabricated cast iron lighthouse in Queensland was erected at Bustard Head in 1867, with Sandy Cape Lighthouse (also imported) being erected in 1870.
 
The next phase of construction of light towers took on a different method in that the tower was erected around with a timber frame of colonial hardwood covered with a. The conical boiler plate casing is non-structural. This new system (Type B), became the normal standard Queensland construction technique and was significantly cheaper than the Sandy Cape/Bustard Head technique. The frame could be prefabricated in Brisbane before being erected on site.
 
Many lighthouses were built in the Type B this style, including those at Dent Island, Cape Cleveland, Lady Elliot Island, Low Isles, Double Island Point and Booby Island.
 
Commander George Poynter Heath, the Chairman of the Queensland Marine Board, wrote to the Colonial Treasurer in February 1878 recommending the construction of lights on both Cape Cleveland and Dent Island. Formal approval was granted in April and tenders were subsequently called. William P Clark was awarded the contract to erect the tower on Dent Island and two ancillary cottages for 1820 pounds. Building was completed in September 1879.
 
The six seven buildings associated with the tower (two residences, a winch house and derrick crane, store shed, storeshed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room) are constructed variously of weatherboard and fibro sheeting on timber frames, with galvanised iron corrugated asbestos-cement roofs. The lighthouse is situated on the south-west tip of Dent Island approximately 55 nautical miles north of Mackay. The 160ha island is owned by the Commonwealth and designated a Lighthouse Reserve. The southern part of Dent Island, an area of 116.946 ha, which includes the Dent Island Lightstation, is held by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth. The northern part of the island, 196.01 ha, is owned by the state of Queensland. Access is obtained by motor launch.
 
The red domed, white conical tower of timber-framed, iron clad construction stands 10 m high. A circular cast iron stair case runs inside the tower to the light platform A timber stair winds around the weight tube up to the first floor; above this a fixed ladder gives access to the lantern floor. A fourth order lens and oil wick burner were originally installed in the light. In 1925, the burner was replaced by a 35 mm incandescent kerosene mantle and the intensity of the light increased from 4000 to 225,000 candelas.
 
Two years later the original lens was replaced by a reconditioned fourth order lens from Cape Cleveland. In 1982 the light was converted to electric operation and down-graded from 18 nautical miles to 10 nautical miles. It is presently surmounted by a 6ft 7.75in diameter lantern manufactured by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England It is enclosed by a lantern locally made to a Queensland standard design. The present optical apparatus consists of a self-contained electric beacon mounted on the handrail of the tower balcony 1920s Chance Brothers mercury trough pedestal. It is powered by banks of solar cells housed on a north facing prefabricated stand erected close to the tower attached to the balcony handrail. The apparatus gives a character of flashing every five seconds with an intensity of 1310 candelas resulting in a nominal visible range of 10 nautical miles.
Accommodation consists of two timber-framed, fibrocement cottages erected in 1960.
 
Cottage 1 is a two level building with three bedrooms and a bathroom located on the lower level and living room, kitchen, storage room, toilet, laundry and enclosed verandah on the upper level.
 
Cottage 2 is of single level construction with three bedrooms, living room, dining, kitchen, laundry, toilet, bathroom and store room and open front verandah. Just up the hill from the tower is a tiny, white picket fence enclosing the grave of a new born baby (apparently the first born of an early lightkeeper). A second grave, of lightkeeper’s daughter Carrie Biss who died at the age of three years in 1885, has a surround of wrought iron pickets and rails with cast iron finials. The burial details are on a marble plaque with inset lead lettering.
 
Other structures on the site (store shed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room), have concrete floors, are timber-framed and have flat asbestos-cement external wall cladding. A boat ramp is provided at the base of the cliff and concrete steps have been erected to provide access to the upper level. Domestic power is supplied by two diesel alternator sets located in a fibro powerhouse. Associated buildings include a weatherboard bulk fuel store and winch shed located adjacent to the crane landing and haulage way. A diesel powered winch is was used to transfer stores from ship to shore.
 
It is possible that the place may have Indigenous heritage value. The National estate value of this aspect of the site's heritage significance has yet to be assessed.
 
10.4. Table demonstrating compliance with the EPBC Act 1999
 
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000
Schedule 7A – Management Plans for Commonwealth Heritage Places

Legislation
Satisfied within

A management plan must:

(a)    Establish objectives for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and
Section 2 – Heritage management plan objectives

(b)    Provide a management framework that includes reference to any statutory requirements and agency mechanisms for the protection of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and
Section 7 – Operational requirements

(c)     Provide a comprehensive description of the place, including information about its location, physical features, condition, historical context and current uses; and
Section 4 – Dent Island; and
Section 6 – The fabric of the lightstation.
 

(d)    Provide a description of the Commonwealth Heritage values and any other heritage values of the place; and
Section 5 – Cultural significance
 
 

(e)     Describe the condition of the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and
Section 6 – The fabric of the lightstation
 

(f)     Describe the method used to assess the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and
Section 1 – Preparation of this heritage management plan

(g)     Describe the current management requirements and goals including proposals for change and any potential pressures on the Commonwealth Heritage values of the place; and
Section 7 – Operational requirements; and
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 3 & 6)

(h)    Have policies to manage the Commonwealth Heritage values of a place, and include in those policies, guidance in relation to the following:
 

                                 i.            The management and conservation processes to be used;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 1)

                                ii.            The access and security arrangements, including access to the area for indigenous people to maintain cultural traditions;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 12 and 14)

                              iii.            The stakeholder and community consultation and liaison arrangements;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 4)

                              iv.            The policies and protocols to ensure that indigenous people participate in the management process;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 4)

                               v.            The protocols for the management of sensitive information;
Not applicable

                              vi.            The planning and management of works, development, adaptive re-use and property divestment proposals;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policies 8, 10, 13 and 19)

                            vii.            How unforeseen discoveries or disturbances of heritage are to be managed;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 20)

                           viii.            How, and under what circumstances, heritage advice is to be obtained;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 3 and 8)

                              ix.            How the condition of Commonwealth Heritage values is to be monitored and reported;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 6)

                               x.            How records of intervention and maintenance of a heritage places register are kept;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 6 and 7)

                              xi.            The research, training and resources needed to improve management;
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 9)

                            xii.            How heritage values are to be interpreted and promoted; and
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 15 and 38)

(i)      Include an implementation plan; and
Section 9 – Implementation plan

(j)      Show how the implementation of policies will be monitored; and
Section 9 – Implementation plan

(k)    Show how the management plan will be reviewed.
Section 8 – Heritage management policies (Policy 5)

 
10.5. Map of Dent Island tenure
Figure 13 — Map of Dent Island land tenure including Commonwealth and State jurisdiction (Source: GBRMPA)
10.6. Plan of the elements of Dent Island Lightstation
Figure 14 — Plan of the elements of Dent Island Lightstation
(Source: Hamilton Island Enterprises)
 
 
10.7. Lease plans of the Commonwealth part of Dent Island
Figure 15 — Lease plans of the Commonwealth part of Dent Island
(Source: Queensland Land Registry, plan HR2019)
 
10.8. Dent Island boulders geotechnical inspection March 2010
 
Figure 16 — Plan showing the location of boulders (Source: Cardno Ullman & Nolan)
 
 
10.9. List of introduced plants
 
This list of plants was made by Hugh Clelland, Manager Resort Presentation, Hamilton Island Enterprises, November 2010.
 
The following plantings (mostly non-native to Dent Island) were found around the lightstation buildings, and have been planted by various lightkeepers and caretakers.
 
Palms
Cocos nucifera — coconut palm
Livistona decipiens — cabbage palm
Ptychosperma elegans — elegant palm
Dypsis lutescens — golden cane palm
Calamus species — wait-a-while palm
Arecastrum romanzoffianium — queen palm
 
Trees
Plumeria species — frangipani (three colours)
Macaranga tanarius
Olea species — olive
Citrus species — citrus fruit
Syzygium leuhmannii — lilly pilly
Ficus opposite — sandpaper fig
Schefflera actinophylla — umbrella tree
 
Shrubs
Pentas lanceolata
Brunfelsia calycina
Thevetia thevetioides — yellow oleander
Bougainvillea species
Nerium oleander — oleander
Hibiscus species — hibiscus
 
Others
Hymenocallis species — spider lily
Nephrolepis cordifolia — fishbone fern
Adiantum species — maidenhair fern
Lomandra species
Phyllostachys nigra — black bamboo
Bamboo species (three types)
 
 

[1]           The only keepers’ houses of this particular type still surviving are at Booby Island Lightstation, built in 1890.
[2]               The following six iron-plated, timber-framed lighthouses are still in service in Queensland: Low Isles (first lit 1878), North Reef (1878), Cape Cleveland (1879), Dent Island (1879), Double Island Point (1884) and Booby Island (1890). These four survive unused: Lady Elliott Island (1873), Cape Bowling Green (1874) (moved), Flat Top Island (1879) and Pine Islet (1885) (moved). These two have been demolished: Cape Capricorn (1875) and Archer Point (1883).
[3]               Lanterns of this type are still in service at five lighthouses: Cape Cleveland (first lit 1879), Dent Island (1879), Grassy Hill (1886), Goods Island (1886) and Sea Hill (1895). Two others survive unused: Caloundra (1896) and Flat Top Island (1879). Three have been demolished: Archer Point (1883), Cowan Cowan (date uncertain) and the Moreton Bay Pile Light (1882).
[4]               The most directly comparable derrick crane, with tubular steel spars, is at Montague Island, New South Wales.
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