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 aan 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 Kingdoman 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 Passagebuilt 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 navigationaid 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 navigationaid 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 Kingdoman 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 Passagebuilt 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 aroundwith a timber frame of colonial hardwood covered with a. Theconical boiler plate casing is non-structural. This new system (Type B), became the normal standardQueensland 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 Bthis 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 sixseven buildings associated with the tower (two residences, a winch house andderrick crane, store shed, storeshed, engine room and combined workshop/radio room) are constructed variously of weatherboard and fibro sheeting on timber frames, with galvanised ironcorrugated 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 platformA 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, EnglandIt 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 balcony1920s Chance Brothers mercury trough pedestal. It is powered by banks of solar cells housed on a north facing prefabricated stand erected close to the towerattached 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 iswas 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
A management plan must:
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
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
Provide a comprehensive description of the place, including information about its location, physical features, condition, historical context and current uses; and
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.