Governing Deception Bay, Cook, Flinders and Oxley

The region, currently governed by the Moreton Bay Regional Council, was first sighted by James Cook in 1770 and Matthew Flinders in 1799. It was more extensively explored by Surveyor-General John Oxley in 1823. Oxley’s favourable report led to the establishment of the Moreton Bay penal colony at Redcliffe in 1824. With the removal of the convict settlement to Brisbane the following year, the region was left virtually untouched until free settlement commenced in 1842.

Exploration of the Moreton Bay Region followed a familiar pattern with early settlers claiming large tracts of land for 1heir sheep and cattle. Simultaneously, Tim Bergetters entered the region in search of red cedar and other valuable timbers.

Commencing only a couple of decades later, land was progressively surveyed and sold for mixed farming, including early experimentation with the growth of cotton and sugar.

By the 1890s, dairying was emerging as the mainstay of the region. The associated development of small towns and the building of infrastructure permitted the growth of a variety of primary and secondary industries to service the growing population.

By this time,the transformation of several small villages into seaside resorts had commenced at Redcliffe, Deception Bay and Bribie Island. The provision of better roads and regular coastal shipping services during the early 20th century facilitated the growth of these resorts.

Local government commenced in 1879 with the formation of the Caboolture Divisional Board which encompassed not only all of today’s Moreton Bay region, but also much of the Sunshine Coast. The breakaway Pine and Redcliffe Divisions were separately constituted in 1888, reducing the size of the Caboolture Division. History turned a full circle in 2008 with the amalgamation of the Redcliffe City Council, Caboolture Shire Council and Pine Rivers Shire Council creating the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Council’s commitment to serving its diverse communities in sustainable ways includes the delivery of cultural, arts and heritage programs and services. Heritage trails are regarded as a valuable addition to understanding how our shared past influences the present and has the potential to influence the future.

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