The Pialba cane-cutting gang in 1913.
The Pialba cane-cutting gang in 1913. Hervey Bay Historical Museum

Sugar industry has played important part in area's history

FROM the early days of Hervey Bay, the sugar industry has played an important part in the Fraser Coast's history.

Since it was found that sugar cane grew well in our area, cane has been grown, cut and transported to the Maryborough Sugar Mill, processed and exported through the Port of Urangan.

Before the establishment of the large sugar mill in Maryborough, numerous small crushing mills were scattered throughout the cane-growing areas.

In the early days, gangs of cane cutters used knives to cut the burnt cane, which was then carted to railway sidings by bullock teams and later by trucks, to be sent by rail to the mill in Maryborough.

There it was crushed and crystallised into raw sugar which was bagged and again railed to Urangan where it was manually loaded by gangs of wharf labourers into ships for export.

The sugar industry played an important part in the early history of our entire area, opening up large tracts of arable land.

Much of this land is still used for growing sugar cane, but much has given way to housing development and other crops such as macadamias, which are still known locally as "bauple nuts".

A comprehensive story of the sugar industry is included in the soon-to-be pub

lished book by the Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum, "Hervey Bay, the First 150 Years".

The book will be available at the 150th birthday celebrations for Hervey Bay at the museum on September 29.

Urangan Pier with bagged sugar ready for export.
Urangan Pier with bagged sugar ready for export. Hervey Bay Historical Museum


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