The inter-relation of settlement and transport in Queensland during the period 1859-1900

Courtice, Phyllis (1937). The inter-relation of settlement and transport in Queensland during the period 1859-1900 M.A. Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Courtice, Phyllis
Thesis Title The inter-relation of settlement and transport in Queensland during the period 1859-1900
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1937
Thesis type M.A. Thesis
Total pages 165
Language eng
Subjects 430101 History - Australian
350400 Transportation
Formatted abstract Statement of thesis:
In 1859, when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony and granted responsible government, the Ministry under the guidance of Mr. Herbert had no plan for the provision of transport facilities which would render available for occupation the lands surrounding the existing centres of settlement at Brisbane, Ipswich and on the Darling Downs.

There was no comprehensive scheme far the survey and construction of roads and railways into fertile areas then uninhabited by white men. Land was proclaimed open forsettlement without any provision having been made for the reservation of land for roads. The government was certainly hampered by lack of money, but in later years, when money was available, there was no scheme drawn up for the provision of means of communication to unsettled fertile tracts of land, in order to make settlement upon the land attractive in the eyes of immigrants.

In Queensland, settlement always preceded the construction of roads and bridges. It was at the urgent request of the pioneering settlers that roads were built, and bridges made in certain districts. As soon as means of communication were opened up with an existing centre of settlement, men sought after the land in the district so favoured. With the extension of the railways to the west and to the north, townships grew, the coastal trade increased as the interior was brought into touch with the coast, and increased agricultural and pastoral selection followed.

It was the policy of the government to provide for the wants of the moment. Its policy can meet with a certain amount of sympathy, as Queensland was of so vast an area, that many millions of pounds were necessary to provide adequate means of communication for settlers in every part of the colony. Queensland was unfortunate in that it lacked rivers running from the far interior to the coast, which would have
aided settlement in the way in which the railways did late when constructed. Men settled along the banks of the coastal rivers, as they provided water carriage for their
produce. Later, when roads had been constructed into the districts nearby, which were already sparsely settled, land was taken up, and the population of the area increased
greatly.

Some men went prospecting for gold, and found it in places where no white man had been before. No roads existed. The tracks of the first discoverer were followed by those eager to share in the search for the golden metal. At the petition of the miners first on the field, roads were built so that supplies might be brought quickly and easily from the nearest settlement on the coast, and so that the gold might be taken to port for export.

In the following pages, an attempt will be made to show that there was no pre-arranged plan for the settlement of Queensland; that no scheme was ever formed by which provision was made for means of communication, which would render the fertile areas near the existing centres of settlement available for immediate selection by immigrants on their arrival; that the railways when they were constructed were not part of a wide and comprehensive system, but were built merely to provide for the needs of the moment, and that their direction was often greatly influenced by the power of certain sections within the Legislature and Cabinet; that settlement in every
district in Queensland preceded transport facilities; settlers scattering throughout the length and breadth of Queensland in a most haphazard fashion; but that, with the
establishment of satisfactory means of communication, settlement advanced with rapidity.
Keyword Transportation -- Queensland
Queensland -- Colonization -- History
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