The Big Rig & Rigger StatuePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / John Huth
The Big Rig and Rigger Statue is a monument to the pioneers of Australia's oil and gas industry. 

The Big Rig celebrates the unique history of Australia’s oil and gas industry, collecting together intriguing stories, photos, facts and objects, in a variety of fascinating multi-media exhibits.

The first gas field was discovered within the Roma township in 1900 by the Hospital Hill 1 exploration well: the first natural gas discovery in Australia. This gas was later used to light the street lamps of Roma for 10 days and periodically evaluated for commercial production prior to the 1960s.


Address:Warrego Highway & Riggers Road, Roma, 4455
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -26.574444
Long: 148.800278
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Technology


Front Inscription

The Driller

The development of the oil and gas industry in Australia is a story about the efforts of people ..... explorers, engineers, field workers, investors and many others.  These people are part of the story of Roma - the birth place of the oil and gas industry in Australia.

This statue and the Big Rig commemorate their efforts and celebrate their achievements.

This statue is based on a photograph of a well-remembered character from the early days of oil-search in this District.  John Machado came to Roma, with fellow Californian, Clarence Evans, in 1923.

These two Americans were largely responsible for training the first Australian oil drilling teams.  John Machado became a naturalised Australian in 1939, and remained in Roma until 1945, well after the oil boom which brought him to this country.  He was employed by the Roma Town Council as Water Foreman until 1945, converting the diminshed oil bores on Hospital Hill to town water bores.

John Machado died in Brisbane in 1974, aged 76 years.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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