Former Immigraton Depot
Built in 1865/66, the Immigration Depot provided migrants with a staging point from which to begin their new life in the colony. After a voyage lasting as long as six months, passengers disembarked in Moreton Bay, were transferred to local vessels and brought into Brisbane.
On arrival the migrants were temporarily housed at the depot until they were able to find work or residence. The number of immigrants was particularly high during the 1860s. Over two years in which the depot was erected, one shipping company alone carried more than 21,000 immigrants to Brisbane.
The Immigration Depot re-established at “Yungaba” on Kangaroo Point in 1887 and this building was converted to government offices. It is now the National Trust House.
Immigration was recognized as an important factor in the economic development of the new colony. The Black Ball Line, a British Shipping Company, had an agreement with Queensland government to bring out free, assisted and fare paying passengers to the colony. In Britain, the Emigration Commissioners also chartered vessels to carry free and assisted immigrants to Queensland.
In the days of sail, early voyages to Queensland from Britain came around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope via the trade wind belt. The Black Ball Clipper “Young Australia” made the trip to Moreton Bay in just 82 days, a record time in 1862. Returning vessels loaded wool, timber, tallow, cotton, hides, bone and skins ready for British markets.
The Department of Agriculture occupied the building in 1890 and over the next decade extensions were made to accommodate the new function. The Queensland Depart of Agriculture was the world’s first government department to produce a motion film. [more]
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