Burra's Sister Towns
Council has established a 'sister' relationship with two towns on opposite sides of the globe. Most people will readily find Mount Morgan, Queensland, on the map but St. Just-in-Penwith, or St. Just for short, may be harder to locate. The decision to establish the relationship was based on the similarities between the history and heritage of the two towns and that of Burra.
Mining is the most obvious linkage between these two towns and the Burra area. While mining was at one time the major, if not sole, lifeblood for their communities, all three towns have also experienced the effects of a mining decline. Another common theme - all three has looked at ways of preserving and capitalising on their mining heritage, with a major focus on tourism.
Council has agreed to work with the Mount Morgan Shire and the Town Council of St. Just to foster, a low-key twinning relationship, concentrating on an exchange of information, liaison between tourist offices, and website linkages.
Any visitors from the Goyder area to either Mount Morgan or St. Just are invited to make themselves known to the local Councils, where they can be assured of a warm welcome and information on the towns' attractions.
You can find out more about these towns by visiting the following websites;
Today, Mount Morgan, nestled in the Dee Ranges, a short distance from Rockhampton, has a population of 3,500. Around 1884 the population of Mount Morgan numbered around 150. The history of Mount Morgan town cannot be separated from the history of the Mount Morgan Mine, and with the discovery of hold the population had, by the end of the decade multiplied to 4,000. The Mountain of Gold provided employment and prosperity to the town, but, it is claimed, its main beneficiary was Rockhampton, which changed from a small service town for the pastoral industry to a bustling provincial city, giving claim (never realised) to its candidacy as the capital of Queensland.
The decline of mining as the predominant industry in the town can be dated from the closure of the Old Compant in 1927. Various attempts, wtih varying success, were made to continue the Mine, but it finally ceased operations in 1981 after 99 years.
The parish of St. Just occupies the north west corner of the Lands End Peninsula, the old Hundred of West Penwith, and covers an area of about 7,820 acres and measures about 3km in width and 11km in length.
The coast peninsula is dominated by high, often sheer, cliffs which average about 100m in height. Nowhere is it possible to be more than 5.5km from the sea. Much of the land behind the cliffs forms a plateau, the relict of ancient marine erosion. Behind this plateau a range of hills (up to 250m) high and moorland forms the backbone of the peninsula.
There was a settlement at St. Just from earliest times but the town expanded substantially during the heyday of the Victorian mining days when the great coastal mines of West Cornwall made St. Just's name famous and when the town's populatoin increased rapidly. The last working tin mine at Geevor, Pendeen, ceased production in 1990, in spite of a determined battle by the local community to save it.