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Yabulu
TownsvilleQueensland
QR loco 1556 and a 1720 class haul the Sunlander northbound through Yabulu, circa 1991
Yabulu
Yabulu
Coordinates19°12′49″S 146°36′06″E / 19.2136°S 146.6016°E / -19.2136; 146.6016 (Yabulu (town centre))
Population697 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density19.69/km2 (50.99/sq mi)
Postcode(s)4818
Area35.4 km2 (13.7 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
Location
LGA(s)City of Townsville
State electorate(s)Thuringowa
Federal division(s)Herbert
Suburbs around Yabulu:
Bluewater Saunders Beach Coral Sea
Bluewater Yabulu Beach Holm
Lynam Black River Black River

Yabulu is a town and coastal suburb in the City of Townsville, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Yabulu had a population of 697 people.[1]

Geography

Yabulu is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. The Bruce Highway passes through the suburb which fronts Halifax Bay.

Yabulu is the site of a major nickel and cobalt refinery, owned by Clive Palmer.

Cobarra is a neighbourhood (19°12′S 146°36′E / 19.2°S 146.6°E / -19.2; 146.6 (Cobarra)) near the nickel refinery.[4]

Mount Saunders is in the centre of the locality (19°11′50″S 146°35′51″E / 19.1972°S 146.5975°E / -19.1972; 146.5975 (Mount Saunders)) and is 92 metres (302 ft) above sea level.[5][6]

There are two railway lines passing through the locality, the North Coast railway line and the now-closed Greenvale railway line. The locality has the following railway stations on the North Coast line

and one at the nickel refinery from which processed ore was carried to the Port of Townsville via the North Coast line

History

Yabulu is situated in the traditional Wulgurukaba Aboriginal country, nearby Nyawigi Aboriginal country.[8][9]

The town takes its name from Yabulu railway station. Yabulu is an Aboriginal word meaning grass.[2] Nickel laterite mining at Greenvale led to the building of the Greenvale railway line to transport ore to a nickel refinery at Yabulu in the 1970s.[10]

In the 2016 census, Yabulu had a population of 697 people.[1]

Demographics

In the 2016 Census, there were 697 people in Yabulu. 78.1% of people were born in Australia and 86.4% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 25.1%, No Religion 24.4% and Anglican 19.2%.[1]

Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery

The Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery is operated by Queensland Nickel, wholly owned by Clive Palmer.[11] The Yabulu refinery became operational in 1974 after completion of the Greenvale to Yabulu railway line. Mining at Greenvale took place between 1974 and 1992 during which nickel laterite ore was transported to the Yabulu refinery by rail and processed up until 1993. Importation of ore from mines in New Caledonia, Indonesia, and the Philippines began in 1986 and continues to this day.[12]

In 2009, Palmer bought Queensland Nickel and the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery.[11] The following year, the company increased production by 30%, prompting him to give $10 million worth of Christmas bonuses to staff,including 55 Mercedes-Benz B-Class cars and overseas holidays.[13] Up to 750 people worked at the refinery, which produced 32,000 tonnes (71,000,000 lb) of nickel and 19,000 t (42,000,000 lb) of cobalt per year.[14] According to the general manager Trefor Flood this figure had risen to 12,000 t (26,000,000 lb) of nickel per month by early 2010.[15]

World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) raised concerns that a tailings dam at the site could collapse during the wet season, posing an environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef.[16] WWF later retracted their comments, apologised and were forced to pay legal costs incurred by Palmer who sued WWF because of the comments.[17] On 15 January 2016 the company terminated 237 workers. Palmer blamed poor nickel prices, at a 12-year low,[18] and the refusal of the Queensland government to guarantee a loan of A$35 million, but the ABC reported that Queensland Nickel had donated over $6 million to the Palmer United Party. The leader of the opposition in Queensland supported the government's refusal to guarantee the loan on the grounds that it was not the proper role of government and that Palmer had used Queensland Nickel funds for his political party.[19] On 18 January 2016 Queensland Nickel entered voluntary administration.[20] It is expected the refinery will re-open sometime in late 2018/2019 if all current hurdles to restarting are overcome.[21]

Amenities

Caltex service station, 2012
Caltex service station, 2012

Facilities located at Yabulu include a Caltex service station.

Attractions

Bluewater Caravan Park is at 41420 Bruce Highway.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Yabulu (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
    Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
  2. ^ a b "Yabulu – town in City of Townsville (entry 38339)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Yabulu – suburb in City of Townsville (entry 50391)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Cobarra – locality unbounded in City of Townsville (entry 7555)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Mount Saunders – mountain in City of Townsville (entry 29993)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Railway stations and sidings - Queensland". Queensland Open Data. Queensland Government. 2 October 2020. Archived from the original on 5 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Wellbeing of Nywaigi Traditional Owners - Figure 1". Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Traditional Landowners - History and Heritage". Archived from the original on 27 March 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Yabulu - Queensland Places". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Queensland Nickel: Our History". Queensland Nickel. Archived from the original on 3 September 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  12. ^ Nickel and Cobalt Refining by QNI Pty. Ltd. Yabulu, Qld Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ausimm.com.au, Accessed 10 June 2008.
  13. ^ Michaela McNamara (21 November 2010). "Queensland Nickel Employees Get Mercedes & Vacations for Christmas". Business Review Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  14. ^ BHP Billiton - Yabulu Refinery Archived 21 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, bhpbilliton.com, accessed 10 June 2008.
  15. ^ Peter Michael (31 January 2010). "Cliver Palmer refines fortunes at Yabulu Nickel refinery". The Courier-Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Palmer returns fire at green groups". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. 10 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  17. ^ David Chen (5 March 2013). "WWF apologises to Palmer over 'unfounded' refinery claims". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  18. ^ Cauchi, Stephen Cauchi (25 November 2015). "Nickel prices fall to 12-year low, Western Areas share price falls". The Sydney Morning Herald. Faifax Media. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  19. ^ Bavas, Josh; Tapim, Francis; & staff (18 January 2016). "Palmer under pressure to pay back millions to struggling refinery". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel goes into voluntary administration". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Queensland Nickel approves plans to restart Yabulu Refinery - Australian Mining". Australian Mining. 6 June 2018. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Bluewater Caravan Park Townsville". Bluewater. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2021.