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Queensland's history—1800s

1899

1898

  • A great drought begins and lasts until 1903 (five years).
  • Sleet and snow is recorded in George Street, Brisbane (23 July).

1897

  • The Aboriginal  Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act is passed. The legislation  includes extensive clauses that restrict the rights of Aboriginal people,  including controlling their finances. Other sections of the Act permit the  Queensland Government to deport Aboriginal people to missions and reserves  where they could be forcibly incarcerated. The Act also gave the government the  right to exercise guardianship over all Indigenous children in the colony.

1895

  • The first Edison motion pictures in Queensland are shown in the  Brisbane Exhibition Building.
  • ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is performed for the first time in the North  Gregory Hotel at Winton.

1893

  • Queen Victoria grants the Queensland  Coat of Arms, the  oldest State Arms in Australia, to the Colony of Queensland.
  • South East Queensland is affected by three cyclones in February  resulting in severe floods.

1892

  • Jackie Howe shears a world record 321 sheep in 7 hours 40 minutes  at Isis Downs.

1891

1890

  • Central Queensland organises a petition to separate from  Queensland and form its own representative government.

1889

1888

  • The Queensland Premier, Sir Samuel Griffith, is elected President  of the Federal Council at its meeting in Hobart.
  • The first barrel of Bundaberg Rum rolls off the production line.  In 1961, the company chooses a polar bear as its corporate mascot, to represent  that their product will 'ward off the coldest chill of winter'.

1887

  • Queensland, Victoria and South Australia object to New South  Wales’ plan to adopt the name ‘Australia’ for the colony.
  • Yungaba Immigration Centre opens in Brisbane.

1883

1881

1879

  • Local government is established with the Divisional  Boards Act.

1878

  • The first electric light is switched on at a public demonstration  in William Street, Brisbane.
  • Queensland  introduces the Rabbit  Nuisance Bill 1878 which empowers Rabbit Boards to erect fences preventing the  incursion or migration of rabbits.

1877

  • Henry Majoribanks Chester arrives on Thursday Island as the first  Government Resident.

1876

1875

1874

  • Queensland’s first permanent bridge is built. Designed by Robinson and  L’Anson, the bridge was constructed from wrought-iron lattice girders on  cast-iron cylinders,

1871

  • Missionaries aboard the Surprise arrive at Erub  (now Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait—an event still known as the ‘Coming of the Light’.
  • Mosman, Clarke and Fraser discover reef gold in the Townsville  Hinterland at a place they name ‘Charters Tors’, which later became Charters  Towers.

1870

  • Free primary education is introduced in Queensland, the first in  Australia.

1868

  • The new Parliament House in George Street is used for the first  time.

1867

1866

  • Queensland Treasury banknotes are issued for the first time.

1865

  • Queensland's first rail line opens between Ipswich and  Grandchester.
  • Cobb & Co. opens its first Queensland coach  route between Brisbane and Ipswich. The first run starts on 1 January 1866.

1864

  • Captain JM Black, a business partner of Sydney merchant Robert  Towns, chooses Townsville as a convenient shipping port.
  • The first Queensland vs. New South Wales cricket match is played.
  • Queensland's first women's hospital is opened on Leichhardt Street  in Spring Hill, indicating the state's growing prosperity and population.
  • Captain  Louis Hope opens Ormiston, Queensland’s first commercial sugar mill located in the Redland Shire  district.
  • The turning of the first railway sod in  Queensland is  performed on 25 February by Lady Bowen, wife of Sir George Bowen, the first  Governor of the colony. The decision was made to run the line from Ipswich to  Bigge’s Camp, now known as Grandchester.

1863

  • The Kanakas (Melanesian people from South  Pacific) arrive in Queensland to work in Queensland's cane fields (until 1904).
  • Ipswich Grammar School is established as Queensland’s first grammar school following the Grammar Schools Act 1860.

1861

  • Warwick and Maryborough officially become municipalities.
  • Explorers Robert O'Hara Burke and William Wills die near Cooper  Creek after successfully crossing the continent from south to north.
  • In  April, the first telegraph line in Queensland is  established,  revolutionising communication in the colony. The first line linked Brisbane to  Ipswich and later extended to Sydney.

1860

  • The first Queensland elections are held. Robert George Wyndham  Herbert assumes the role of Queensland’s first Premier on 22 May.
  • The Queensland Parliament sits for the first time.
  • The Alienation of Crown Lands Act 1860 is passed in  order to open lands for selection.
  • The first Queensland stamps are issued.

1859

  • On 10 December, Queensland's first Governor, Sir  George Ferguson Bowen,  and his wife Lady Diamantina, arrive in Brisbane. The  proclamation establishing the Colony of Queensland is read to wild applause  from the balcony of Government House (now the Deanery of St John's Cathedral).
  • On 6 June, Queen Victoria signs the Letters Patent, approving Queensland becoming a  separate colony to New South Wales, with its own representative government.
  • Municipality of  Brisbane is proclaimed and first Brisbane Council election is held—John Petrie becomes the first mayor.
  • The first issue of Ipswich Herald is released.  One of the main aims of the Ipswich Herald was to promote Ipswich’s claims to  be capital city of the Moreton Bay colony as separation from New South Wales  loomed. Today, known as The  Queensland Times, it is the oldest provincial newspaper still published in  Queensland.

1854

  • The Archer brothers trek through the Fitzroy Valley  and settle at Gracemere, near Rockhampton.

1851

  • The first wool is shipped from Moreton Bay to  England.

1847

  • The Port Curtis settlement is established. In 1853 it becomes a  permanent settlement and is renamed Gladstone.

1846

  • Queensland's first newspaper, the Moreton Bay  Courier is published. This later became The Courier, then the Brisbane  Courier, and since 1933 The Courier-Mail.

1842

  • The Moreton Bay district is officially opened to free settlement.

1838

  • German missionaries establish the Zion Hill Mission (now Nundah) to bring Christianity to the Aborigines in Brisbane.

1837

  • Explorer Andrew Petrie and his family arrive on the ‘James Watt’, the first steamer to  enter Moreton Bay.

1828–1830

1827

  • Botanist Allan Cunningham discovers the Darling Downs and  a gap through the Great Dividing Range, which allows access to the Darling  Downs from Brisbane.

1825

  • The Moreton Bay convict settlement, established in Redcliffe in  1824, is transferred to the banks of the Brisbane River near the northern end  of the Victoria Bridge.

1824

  • Explorer John Oxley travels up the Brisbane River and camps at Breakfast  Creek, near present-day Newstead House.

1823

  • New South Wales Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane sends explorer John Oxley to  find potential new penal sites.