Cleveland was the traditional territory of the Koobenpul clan of the Quandamooka.
European settlement of Brisbane and surrounding areas was banned from 1824 until 1842, due to the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement ( where convicts were detained on an island named St Helena, infamous for its barbaric cruelty) though the area to become Cleveland was first surveyed in 1840, and in 1841, was recommended for a maritime or seaport.
In 1847 the Government planned for the new town, and on 13 December 1850, Cleveland was proclaimed a township. The first land sales of the new township took place a year later, with early purchases primarily around Cleveland Point, at the time an early candidate for a major port to replace Brisbane.
However, when Governor Sir George Gipps visited Cleveland in 1842, it is reported that upon disembarking his boat, he immediately sank into the mudflats up to his waist. He was so annoyed by this that he changed his mind and suggested an alternative site.
The views across Moreton Bay to North Stradbroke Island and the sandy Moreton Island are spectacular and attract many visitors, local and otherwise. Movies filmed using this stretch of water include Unbroken ( when gossip had Angelina Jolie staying at the local pub and eating chicken schnittys) and Narnia’s “Dawn Treader” was built and located at the end of “the Point”, only to be dismantled at the end of filming much to the chagrin of locals.
In 1852, the first large buildings were built in Cleveland including what is now known as the Grand View Hotel, which just just happens to be my local. On a hot humid summer day nothing beats the beer garden of The Grandy.
Many of the traditional “Queenslander” homes have been retained and renovated and command big bikkies which adds to the Point’s charm.
And then there is “progress”.
There is a secret development application in the works for Toondah Harbour, where the ferries depart for the Islands, which will encroach on the Moreton Bay Marine Park and a Ramsar wetland of international importance that provides important habitat for:
- Threatened migratory shorebirds
- Whales and dolphins
- Sea Turtles
The area is also used by the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlews to feed and fatten up to prepare for their 10,000 km trip to their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle.
This development of 3,600 units and harbour facilities including mooring for private seafaring vessels will mean the loss of beautiful parkland at Cleveland Point and the mangroves will be reclaimed for high-rise apartments.
I guess it would be churlish to hope that they all sink……..