Conondale Timbers Sawmill: 2009

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Comments (18)

Ian Stehbens on January 4, 2009

The old machinery no longer does the job, but the mill is still operational.

Sigurtor Holm on January 4, 2009

ok, you have answered my question about the mill!

Ian Stehbens on January 5, 2009

A real statement is being made about the timber industry here, Sig. The current mills are high-tech, huge throughput, large-scale. This one comes from two generations ago in human terms, and from five generations back in terms of sawmilling economics.

Sawmilling was and is the prime lifeblood of the Mary Valley.


gezginruh on January 5, 2009

I think it's gone...GGR.

Mihail Vladaianu on January 6, 2009

Nice shoot, compliments and best regards from Italy.

Ian Stehbens on January 7, 2009

Dear Sig, GGR and Mihail,

I have a little more for you, Sig, for your inquiry has sparked quite some discoveries.

Somethings linger longer than others, GGR, but you can't be far wrong.

It is great to hear from you too, Mihail. Thanks.

This mill turns out to have played a very significant part in Queensland engineering history!

Civil engineering and construction company, Hornibrook, built the longest bridge in the southern hemisphere, the Hornibrook Highway in 1935 and this was one of two mills that Hornibrook owned to supply tallowwood and ironbark timbers for the decking of the bridge.

To those who have lived in Brisbane or Sydney the Hornibrook name is very well known, especially for the construction of the toll bridge, Hornibrook Highway, and for the superstructure and form work for the Sydney Opera House concrete including the 'sails', which was quite an engineering feat.

Even such an insignificant building as this rusting sawmill can have come from quite an auspicious stable!

Warm regards,


Mihail Vladaianu on January 7, 2009

Thanks for your explanation Ian is nice to know your places roots see you.

Ian Stehbens on January 9, 2009

My visit to this mill was spontaneous, but by sharing the images through Panoramio, I began researching its history. As my father was a Mary Valley sawmiller, mill manager and saw doctor and my grandfather worked his horse teams (1918-1939) hauling logs to a mill in the Brisbane Valley and hauling sawn timber from Imbil mills to the railway in the Mary Valley, I am aware of and able to interpret the patterns of sawmilling and the industrial heritage of this region. However, I had never before visited this particular mill, so my impromptu visit became a significant learning experience.

I have now learned that the mill is listed as an item of cultural heritage and of industrial heritage on the Queensland Heritage Register by the Environmental Protection Agency of the Queensland Government.

The Heritage Register provides a full descriptionof the history of the mill and itemises the plant and equipment that is still extant.

EVA_L on January 14, 2009

Dear Yan, yesterday I saw a TVreport about fires in Sydney! What was happened? I couldn't understand the causes of the fire! I hope that the firefighters managed to extinguish the fire.

The second report was more pleasure - about piano, which stand in the open in different parts of Sydney and everyone can play music! Showed the Opera House and a few other places. So, yesterday I could see you on TV!!!

Best wishes. Eva

Ian Stehbens on January 14, 2009

Dear Eva,

Again I am surprised by the Australian coverage on your media.


When the wind comes from the NW over Sydney in summer, we have very hot days with very low 7% humidity. It was 39C in Parramatta that day, and 40C yesterday and 40C again today. So when this happens, there is a high danger of fire.

The causes of fires is most often arson - deliberately lit by some anti-social male usually aged between 12 and 30! They seem to be motivated by anger and inferiority and the secret lighting of a fire in some bush place apparently gives then a sense of power when they see what it does.

There are other accidental causes, or carelessness that start fires around Sydney, as well. But the most crucial issue is that there are weather conditions together with environmental factors that create high fire danger in areas within or close to urban areas, so this high risk must be managed very well.

Your tv was reporting on the first small fire in Sydney forests this year. This makes us all alert.


The Pianos in public places was arranged as part of the Festival of Sydney. On the very day that your tv reported on the piano outside the Sydney Opera House, I had been there with my Korean group of students, and they had played that particular piano that day!! So yes I was there - on your tv in Ukraine that night!! Can you believe that?!

My appreciation for you conversation and my best wishes,


EVA_L on January 22, 2009

Unbelievable, dear Yan! I hope, next time when you will take participation in TVreporte you'll sent me greetings :)


Ian Stehbens on January 22, 2009

Greetings and invitations, smiles and blessings! And I might even play a little music on the piano next time too, just for you.


EVA_L on January 23, 2009

Now I shall watch all News programes, looking for my friend, Yan!

Best wishes. Eva

Ian Stehbens on January 24, 2009

Hi Eva,

I should have gone to the Australian Open Tennis in Melbourne and sat in the stands watching Ukrainian and Belorussian players while holding a card that said "Hi Eva!" or "TO KIEV WITH LOVE" on it. But I am home sending messages by Panoramio.

Do you see the tennis on your tv?


EVA_L on January 27, 2009

Dear Yan, at least I got THIS message and it makes me happy! Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to watch TV - only the News! I must know that my far off friends are OK!


Ian Stehbens on January 29, 2009

Dear Eva,

Those pianos are still in the streets and other public places, and as I passed one today, I thought I should stop and play it just in case Ukrainian television was watching. And what tune did I play...?

Anyway I hope you hear it tonight, but you must listen carefully and open your balcony door a wee crack, for a little night music will come floating across the Dnepr.


EVA_L on January 29, 2009

Today I will wait for the music and, no doubt, will hear it, dear Yan!

Warm regards, Eva

Ian Stehbens on January 30, 2009

Some enchanted evening

You may hear the music,

You may know the music

From across a crowded globe.

And somehow you know,

You know even then

That some day you'll be there,

To hear it again.

After all, it comes from the South Pacific.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 4, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens