October 11, 2017
The Peace Lutheran Church Hall on the Bunya Highway near Benair will be demolished.
The hall sits on the same block that once housed St Paul’s Lutheran Church.
The church’s congregation formed in 1917, three years after the Benair area opened for settlement, and
they built the first St Paul’s Lutheran Church and a cemetery on the site in 1921.
The first church served the community until 1950, when it was replaced with a newer church building.
And the hall – an ex-army building from Gregory Terrace in Brisbane – was added to the complex in 1958.
The church closed in 1997 and the church building was relocated to Mt Tamborine to be used as a chapel.
This just left the hall, a memorial to the old church, a timber rotunda, a timber amenities building and the cemetery on the block, which was renamed the Peace Lutheran Hall and Cemetery after the church was removed.
Wednesday’s Council meeting was told officers recently received an application to demolish the hall, and found the site was listed on the South Burnett’s Local Heritage Register.
But when the Planning Section consulted with Dr Craig Barrett, who drafted the Register, he confirmed the hall’s demolition would have no impact on the heritage significance of the site and was acceptable.
The major item of significance on the block is the cemetery which houses the graves of many early settlers of the Benair district such as the Fleischfresser family, who were pivotal in the establishment of a school as well as the church.
Officers said the hall wasn’t considered historically significant itself and the community no longer considers the hall important, as evidenced by its disuse over the past two decades, they recommended the demolition application be granted.
Councillors approved the hall’s demolition on condition that photographic evidence of the hall will be provided to Council for preservation purposes prior to the commencement of, and during, the demolition.
The photographs will record the hall, its construction, any features that specifically showed its use as part of the former church complex, and its overall setting.
The approval also stipulates that all works including the repair or relocation of services be carried out at no cost to Council, and the demolition be carried out within 12 months.