Queensland - Colonial: 1861 -1900.
Telegraph lines in Suburban Brisbane.


Telegraph lines in suburban Brisbane are broadly defined as being those lines within the Brisbane City Council area.

Important lines within suburban Brisbane about which some information at least is known are:

In Martindale's 1860 Report on the NSW Electric Telegraph, he noted that "in the estimates for 1859, provision was made for the construction of a line from Moreton Island to Brisbane. The separation of Queensland from New South Wales has prevented this service being carried out".

One of the first telegraph lines in Queensland was that from the Chief Telegraph Office east to Lytton. and thence to Cleveland. It was originally intended to have been carried from Lytton via the Ship Patch and Pilot Station. The change in route via Cleveland and Dunwich was ultimately adopted on two criteria:

  1. the advantage of placing the Quarantine Station in direct communication with Brisbane; and
  2. a better bed for the submarine portion of the line with less danger to the cables by fouling of ships' anchors.

The 77½ mile line consisted of the following sections:

The cable was "lastingly laid in safe beds, and the entire extension from Lytton was still working well more than a year later". The line enabled shipping movements to be monitored and reported back to Brisbane and it acted as a first point of maritime surveillance.

Mariners and others were cautioned in the Government Gazette of 8 October 1864 and the Press against anchoring within a quarter of a mile of the new cables between Cleveland and Stradbroke Island and between Amity Point and Moreton Island.

A line was later constructed from Woolloongabba to Cleveland along the Railway line. It was 22 miles in length and it was completed about March 1889.