“Queen’s Wharf (originally King’s Wharf) was the entrance to the colony and Queens Wharf Road was the entry point for all supplies entering the colony on Queens Street, William Street and George Street.”
The lack of recognition has dismayed the president of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Denver Beanland.
“What we are talking about is the birthplace of Queensland; definitely Brisbane, but it’s also Queensland, because this is where it all started,” Beanland said.
He said that if the riverfront were to be a hive of activity, there should be “appropriate recognition of what it means”.
“They got there in May of 1825 and the original buildings were erected on the cliff face there on William Street,” Beanland said.
Visiting from Sydney on Monday, Wendy Yamin and Peter Leffley read an information board about Brisbane’s history but expected more recognition from the colony’s birthplace.
“It should be recognized as Botany Bay,” Leffley said, wondering if decision-makers were afraid of being seen as paying homage to “an invasion.”
“We are not 60,000 years old, but we are allowed to have a history. Things like that scare politicians.”
Successive councils and governments have allowed uncertainty to fester over the city’s history. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the two plaques – in different locations – marking where explorer John Oxley stopped in the river one day in 1824.
Miles seemed surprised when asked how the site’s history would be marked at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.
“I know there are very important and important heritage buildings here,” he said.
“I’m sure the team here will be happy to take that feedback into account.”