100 years of commonwealth management of lighthouses marked by Australian Post

100 years of commonwealth management of lighthouses marked by Australian Post
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StampNews.com hurries to inform that Australia Post commemorated 100 years of Commonwealth management of lighthouses with the release of a new stamp issue.

This philatelic release consists of four items that feature Cape Byron Lighthouse, New South Wales; Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia; North Reef Lighthouse, Queensland; and Tasman Island Lighthouse, Tasmania. The issue was unveiled and put on sale on the 1st of July.

The Australian continent and islands have 59,735 kilometres of coastline and countless potential hazards that created the need for manned beacons warning mariners of potential dangers. Even today, despite satellite navigation systems, all Australian lighthouses are now automated and operational.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said, "The Commonwealth maintenance of the lighthouse service is vital and this centenary year marks an important milestone. We trust this stamp issue will resonate with those who appreciate these prominent structures, their history and the service they provide".

Transfer of control for the maintenance of lighthouses from the states to the Commonwealth took place on 1 July 1915 when the Lighthouses Act 1911 came into effect. The responsible department has had many names, but since 1991 the aids to navigation function has been the responsibility of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Designed by Stacey Zass of page 12 design, the lighthouses featured four domestic base rate (70c) stamps are:

  • Cape Byron lighthouse, New South Wales, constructed in 1901, is located on Australia's most easterly point of the mainland. With some 1.2 million visitors every year, it is the most visited lighthouse site in the country.
  • Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, Western Australia was completed in 1896. A 39-metre rusticated block tower, and the tallest traditional lighthouse in the state, it was built from locally quarried limestone.
  • North Reef lighthouse, Queensland was built in 1878 on North Reef, in the Capricorn Group at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. At 24 metres in height, this is the tallest of the galvanised iron plated, timber framed lighthouses that are unique to Queensland.
  • Tasman Island lighthouse, Tasmania was erected in 1906 and is located on an isolated windswept rocky plateau off Cape Pillar, the most south-easterly point of Tasmania. The construction of the lighthouse was a feat of ingenuity with prefabricated cast-iron panels assembled on site after being hauled up the steep 250-metre-high cliffs.

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