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Northeast Business Park unlocks a part of Queensland’s Heritage

16 February 2011

Plans are underway for an archaeological dig on the site of Northeast Business Park, following a study that has revealed the presence of a range of historically valuable artefacts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The study shows the 760 hectare site is rich in heritage from its days as a sugar plantation, and the artefacts may provide an insight into the site’s European and South Sea Islander history.

The study supplements earlier work by the developer into the site’s indigenous history which led to a Cultural Heritage Management agreement with the Gubbi Gubbi People, the site’s tradi- tional owners.

CEO Jeff Smith said Northeast Business Park had worked very hard to ensure that both indige- nous and non indigenous heritage was protected and preserved on the site as part of the overall development proposal.

“The old homestead site is an extremely significant area because it has remained relatively un- disturbed and in private ownership since the start of the 20th century,” Mr Smith said.

“This initial assessment by the Department of Environment and Resource Management and our own archaeologist has indicated the site demonstrates strong archaeological potential.”

Mr Smith said the site had operated as a major sugar plantation in the late 1800s, hosted Queensland’s longest privately owned railway and featured a historic gravesite.

“The recent study suggests there are many historically valuable artefacts on site that provide an extensive insight into the area’s European and South Sea Islander history,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith has been advised that stairwell remnants, wells, handmade bricks and railway foun- dations are among artefacts located on the site.

An Archaeological Management Plan is currently being prepared by expert heritage consultants to guide the preservation effort.

A nomination for the Caboolture site is also being prepared for consideration by the Queensland Government’s Heritage Council.

Mr Smith said Northeast Business Park was excited that earning a place on the Heritage Register would mean a full archaeological investigation.

“A place on the Queensland Heritage Register will ensure the long term preservation of Caboolture’s history.”

The Raff plantation cultivated sugar cane and produced rum until the mid-1880s, after which the land was owned by Australian Paper Mills and then cattle and dairy farmers.

Photo opportunity

State Member for Murrumba Dean Wells and State Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan will visit Northeast Business Park for a briefing with CEO Jeff Smith at 3pm 23 February 2011.

Ends

Peter Kelly Three Plus M 0416 159 985