How the landscape impacts on people.

Queensland’s historical landscape encapsulates the tension between threat and survival.

Built around a tidal river, some 20 km from Moreton Bay, Brisbane often floods, usually in conjunction with La Niña events bringing heavy wet conditions and cyclonic activity across the state.

The Brisbane River floods. In the extreme episodes of natural disasters a boatload of stories flow from the mouths of people to comprehend their landscape.

The Great Depression of the 1930s, when economies crashed world-wide, had a devastating effect on people.

At the height of the 1974 floods the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Clem Jones, ordered the gates of Somerset Dam be shut to prevent the release of floodwaters defying the recommendations of the

Survival in Queensland during climatic extremes has often relied on the rail network.

‘Surviving the system’

Early in 1948 the Central Highlands of Queensland was abuzz with excitement. An organisation known as the Queensland British Food Corporation (QBFC) had formed to begin farming on a massive scale.

In the days before roads and railway to Brisbane, the Fitzroy River provided all transport and communications for much of Central Queensland through the port of Rockhampton.

The station homestead was an important landscape feature that assisted the establishment and survival of the Queensland pastoral industry and the community of people associated with the industry.

Tropical cyclones

It is claimed that tropical cyclones are the most feared weather phenomena to affect Australia.

When the steamship Quetta was wrecked on a reef in the Torres Strait in 1890 with 134 lives lost, repercussions of the disaster were felt in every embarkation port do