is a town located on the Mount Lindesay Highway
, some 64 km south of Brisbane
. It was named after Beau Desert Park
, the property of Charles Henry Alexander Paget, 6th Marquess of Anglesey
and birthplace of Edward Hawkins, the first person to claim property in the area. At the 2006 census
, Beaudesert had a population of 5,388.
Located in the Logan River
and Albert River
valleys, Beaudesert is a regional hub serving surrounding communities such as Rathdowney
, Tamborine Mountain
. Beaudesert is supported by industries such as Gelita
, the gelatine factory, AJ Bush pet foods, several quarries and an abattoir
. Recently it has become part of the Scenic Rim Regional Shire.
A branch railway
line ran from the outer Brisbane suburb of Bethania
to Beaudesert and was in regular use from 1886
. Until 1991
it had served the meat-packing plant on the outskirts of the town. A petition from railway enthusiasts, and considerable grants of government money, resulted in its re-opening in 1999
. Beaudesert Rail operated steam-driven tourist trains on the line for a short while thereafter. The company ceased operating in August 2004
after a series of fires, lit by sparks from the train, were set along the trainline. The company attempted to cover the fault on their train by saying people had thrown cigarettes out of the windows. The company was in large debt and has ceased to exist, with the rolling stock liquidated and physical infrastructure demolished. Beaudesert Rail had also been trading while insolvant, resulting in the closure of several local business who had extended them credit. Several areas of the track have been damaged by erosion, and roadworks conducted in September 2006 at the level crossing in Woodhill removed the train tracks, cutting the line in two. It seems unlikely that the line will be operated in the foreseeable future.
The main, standard gauge Brisbane-Sydney railway line runs through Bromelton, a few kilometres to the west of Beaudesert. This line is utilised by Countrylink's Sydney-Brisbane XPT passenger train and FreightCorp's (owned by Toll and Lang Corp) Sydney-Brisbane freight train services. The passenger service no longer stops at Bromelton. Beaudesert Shire Council is hoping that new industries will be attracted to Bromelton because of its proximity to the Port of Brisbane and to road-transport routes that are clear of the cities to the north.