Possible repair strategy for Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre

The site has been blocked off for more than one week.
The site has been blocked off for more than one week.

Tasmanian Liberal senator Jonathon Duniam says he will be looking to secure Natural Disaster Relief funding to prevent a 35-metre-wide sinkhole from opening at the Beaconsfield mine yard.

It comes after Pitt and Sherry engineers provided the West Tamar Council with a report identifying significant cracking and surface subsidence in the mine yard to the north and east of the shaft. 

Council is talking with both federal and state governments about the project, expected to cost $1.2 million. 

Senator Duniam said he was working with all three levels of government to rectify the “extremely urgent matter” and would be talking with the minister for emergency management Michael Keenan this week. 

He said he wasn’t sure at this stage how much funding the federal government could put forward, and additional discussions with Minister’s Josh Frydenberg and Steven Ciobo may provide other options.

Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the government had been in discussions with the council and federal government, and would be working with both parties to find a solution. 

West Tamar Council general manager Rolph Vos said he would be asking council in the Tuesday meeting to make a decision to authorise the repairs once the funds are committed. 

“There isn’t a deadline, nobody can put a timeframe on what will happen, there is more rainfall cast, and continuing rain has the potential to accelerate the failure and that puts us under more pressure,” he said.

He said Pitt and Sherry engineers would be engaging with a company on the mainland, and believed it would take time to mobilise the professionals to undertake the work. 

“If it gets worse or there is significant failure, we’d need to take advice,” he said. 

Miners Diner owner Priscilla Tyrrell said she didn’t believe the collapse would impact on business, unless it led to the closure of the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre.

“Without the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre it will be a dead town, I believe it needs to be repaired as soon as possible,” she said.

Beaconsfield resident Michael Jarman, who has previously worked at the heritage centre, said residents were concerned about the future of the mine yard. 

The year’s high rainfall is believed to have caused the cracking by destabilising clay which extends down to 50 metres. 


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