A Queensland farmer uses machinery to harvest cotton in the Kingaroy district in the 1940s.
A Queensland farmer uses machinery to harvest cotton in the Kingaroy district in the 1940s. Queensland State Archives

LOOKING BACK: Kingaroy an historical agricultural hub

THE South Burnett has been, and always will be, an important agricultural hub for Queensland.

The Kingaroy Guardian and Taabinga Times put together a special edition on April 5, 1935, to look back on how far the Kingaroy district had come since the 1880s.

William Forgan Smith, the Queensland Premier in the 1930s, was quoted in the publication and said he was impressed by the region's achievements, particularly its butter factory.

"This, combined with the high quality and bountiful production of other agricultural products, has made a name for your district," Mr Smith said.

"The world is rapidly coming to the conclusion that its salvation can only be won by increased production from the land."

The former premier said Kingaroy had helped put Queensland on the map.

"Kingaroy is an important centre in an important agricultural district, and has assisted in placing Queensland in a high position as a primary producing state," Mr Smith said.

Frank W. Bulcock, the agriculture minister at the time and secretary for agriculture and stock, said Kingaroy was destined to become an integral agricultural hub.

"Kingaroy as the commercial centre of a remarkably rich agricultural and pastoral district is, I believe, destined to become one of our most important inland cities," Mr Bulcock said.

As home to the Peanut Company of Australia, Swickers, Bean Growers Australia and many successful farmers, Mr Bulcock's prediction for Kingaroy could not have been closer to the truth.

Agriculture in the South Burnett has not only changed significantly since he was in government, but also within the former agriculture ministers' lifetime.

"It is hard to realise that within the lifetime of our generation, dense vine jungle has been converted into well-tilled territory, famed far and wide for the quality, volume and value of its dairying, agricultural, pastoral and timber production," Mr Bulcock said.

"Amid all the evidences of extraordinary progress we now see throughout the Kingaroy district, we are reminded that, the embers of the campfires of her pioneers are still warm, that they used the tremendous difficulties of their day as stepping stones to a grand and lasting achievement."


Read more stories about looking back at history in the South Burnett here

Do you have a piece of South Burnett history you would like to share for our 'looking back series'? Email through details to jessica.mcgrath@southburnetttimes.com.au

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