Proston, a rural town, is 110 km west of Gympie and 190 km north-west of Brisbane. It was named after the Proston pastoral leasehold (1846), adjoining the more famous Boondooma property (see entry on Wondai).

The Proston township began as a railway construction camp, where a school was opened in 1917. Extension of the line from Murgon was not completed until 1923, whereupon a town quickly appeared. Cattleyards were built next to the station, and a hall and a hotel were erected. In 1934 the last of several butter factories in the South Burnett district was opened at Proston, and at the outbreak of World War II there was an electricity-generation company, a cinema, a cottage hospital, a sawmill, a cash and carry store, a hairdresser, a baker and several tradespeople. St Peter's Church of England was built, receiving the 1940 Queensland Meritorious Architect Award.

A railway sleeper mill was opened in 1950, adding to local employment, and there was a buoyant dairying industry. A show society started in 1958. The local school grew in the 1960s as smaller surrounding schools were closed and children bussed to Proston.

Between 1954 and 1976 Proston's census population fell by 44%, reflecting the decline of dairying, the closure of the butter factory and the loss of sleeper cutting. The railway was run only when required, closing in 1993. Proston has local shops, bowling and golf clubs, a swimming pool, a public hall and a State school with primary and secondary departments. The hotel burned down in 1966. Out-of-town attractions include Lake Boondooma and the Boondooma Homestead museum and heritage complex. Proston's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

Tony Matthews, Landscapes of change: a history of the South Burnett, Wondai, South Burnett Local Government Association, 1997


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