Brisbane CBD

A State built on property ownership

Queen Street 1859
Queensland is celebrating our 150 years of statehood, with December 10th marking the date Governor Bowen made it back from collecting the paperwork from Her Maj in sunny London.

One of the first jobs was to hold an election and the decision was made to give the vote only to Queenslanders who owned a minimum amount of property. The Governor wrote to his bosses arguing that few of us would miss out on having a say. “In the towns and villages of Queensland there is hardly a working man who does not possess at least the property qualification required.” “In fact the majority of our labouring classes live in their own houses, built on their own land.”

No mention of women voting of course, but the extent of home ownership sounds impressive.

The photo shows Queen Street in 1859, looking south from Edward Street with George Street at the top of the hill. Queen’s Plaza is today at the bottom right. Even 150 years ago it was a busy little place.

Over coming months we’ll write a handful of posts on this blog about Brisbane’s history, with a property focus. Click the tag to read the latest.

Image couresy of John Oxley Library.