Tribute to Penny Cook, National Trust of Queensland

This weeks news update is dedicated to Penny Cook, Executive Director of the National Trust of Queensland, who is retiring. Since first hearing of the plight of the Jimna Fire Tower, and becoming aware of the formation of the Jimna Fire Tower Action Group (JFTAG), Penny has not only become a passionate supporter, but her ongoing advice and expertise has been instrumental in helping JFTAG negotiate the myriad of protocols that can easily become pitfalls when dealing with government departments. 

Penny’s intimate knowledge of heritage legislation and her willingness to share, has given JFTAG a clearer understanding of an apparent weakness in the present Heritage Act which has put the Jimna Fire Tower at risk, and has the potential to threaten other Heritage Listed places. 

It is JFTAG’s understanding that the current Heritage Act in Queensland is fundamentally flawed in that it does not require government departments to either identify, maintain or protect heritage listed places under their control. This revelation is quiet unbelievable when considering the constant and just call for all cultures that enrich modern Australian society to be respected and preserved. The Jimna Fire Tower represents part of Australian culture, heritage and history. It is a symbol of respect and appreciation for the sacrifice and toil of the workers who built it and who created  the massive national  pine plantation estate, which now provides so many of us with both recreational enjoyment and employment. 

May the ever increasing public support for the preservation of the Jimna Fire Tower be a catalyst that will inspire decision makers from all government departments involved to call for a review of the Queensland Heritage Act – an event that will no doubt bring great satisfaction to Penny Cook in retirement.