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Lower Mill Site restoration work begins

Work to repair part of Cooroy’s heritage-listed Lower Mill Site began this week.

Council is overseeing the repairs in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. The project will concentrate on the old boiler house and kiln.

Contractors will remove asbestos, repair termite-damaged timber and replace weathered chamfer boards, plus remediate the chimney and reinforce the roof and walls.

“This work will make the building safe so we can re-open it to the public. It will also ensure its long-term preservation,” said Heritage Levy Advisory Committee Chair, Cr Jess Glasgow.

The Queensland Government transferred the site to Noosa Council in 2002 after the mill closed in 2000 as a result of the Regional Forestry Agreement.

The boiler house, kiln and associated buildings were added to the State’s heritage register in 2008.

Cr Glasgow said the Mill was an important part of Cooroy’s history, with the timber industry being one of Noosa’s earliest industries.

“The kiln was the first drying kiln to be built in the region and it’s the only known remaining example of a timber drying kiln in the Sunshine Coast region,” he said.

Built in 1956, the kiln paved the way for the sale of timber to markets that demanded lower moisture content than could be achieved by air-drying.

“This project, funded from Council’s heritage levy, will bring the facility back up to a safe standard so we can reopen it to the community and ensure its preservation,” he said.

Council has appointed Cooran-based Marbelle Pty Ltd as primary contractor.

Work is expected to take three months.

Once the boiler house has been refurbished parts of it will again reopen to the public so they can learn about the former mill operation.

“The site will be fenced off and we’ll need to reclaim some car parking spaces adjacent to the Cooroy Woodworkers Club Inc. and Cooroy Camphor Laurel Inc. buildings to house machinery. Council appreciates the community’s patience while the work is completed.”