A derelict, one-room hut at Birkdale Community Precinct once owned by the locally famous “Goat Lady” will be dismantled starting this Thursday, 31 August.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the often-vandalised hut used by the late Isabella Alcock, who was fondly known as “The Goat Lady” of Birkdale, had reached its end-of-life.
“It contains asbestos and, while it is sad to see it go, keeping it would present a danger to people as we begin the process of opening up Birkdale Community Precinct to the community,” Cr Williams said.
“The hut does not sit within the State heritage-listed zones or the Conservation Zone of the precinct.”
Work on dismantling the hut will be carried out by licensed contractors who will be responsible for ensuring the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos that it contains, Cr Williams said.
“Unfortunately, the structure cannot be safely restored once the asbestos has been removed,” she said.
“We have engaged heritage specialists to undertake an Archival Recording, to ensure that an appropriate record is documented about Isabella’s legacy and the hut.”
Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said that while it was sad that the hut would go, it was important to ensure Ms Alcock’s legacy would continue.
Together with her mother, Ms Alcock ran a small dairy (cattle and goats) on the northern part of the land, at that time known as Cotton’s Farm, from about 1953.
“While they were effectively squatters, the goat ladies’ enterprise was instrumental in keeping this valuable piece of Redlands Coast pastoral land from being developed when it passed from private to public ownership in the events following World War II,” Cr Bishop said.
“Many locals fondly recall stories of encounters with Isabella who was a protector of the land and her cattle.
“It is hoped that stories can keep their spirit alive in future years as a reminder of how simple life used to be, from pioneer days until quite recently.”
The Birkdale Community Precinct Master Plan, released in March this year, allows for a visual art piece near the main entry to the precinct commemorating Ms Alcock’s life.
Share your memories of Ms Alcock – ‘The Goat Lady’
Council would like to hear your stories about Ms Alcock and the hut in which she lived. To share your story and photos, go to yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/imagine