Sand and Gravel Industry Enterprises

Sand and Gravel Industry Enterprises

Stage Number: MBSH.05.03.12

Group: Western

Local Study Area: Seventeen Mile Rocks-Darra

Epoch: Late 20th Century

Street Address: Riverfront parkland mostly upriver of Counihan Road, likely between Counihan Road and Burdekin Drive.

Latitude & Longitude: -27.53675,152.95947222

Time Link: 1955

Map Link: 1958

Image Time Point: 1958

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The Stirling Gravel & Sand Company set up operations around here circa 1953. They had a wharf and plant off Sinnamon Road, a short distance upriver from Counihan Road. Their barges dredged the river upstream, avoiding the difficult passage through the Seventeen-mile Rocks in the river. At the time, this company and the nearby QCL wharf were the only industrial presence in what was still a predominantly farming district. More sand and gravel producers moved to the area during the 1960s as the Brisbane City Council sought to move dredgers away from the city reaches of the river. These included William Collin and Sons, who bought 11 acres of farmland between Sinnamon Road and the river in 1962. The Moreton Tug and Lighter Company purchased the former Magee-Counihan farm on the upriver side of Counihan Road during the following year (this was later taken over by Boral). By 1980 there were four sand and gravel plants operating on the river in this area. The old wharf, located in the riverside off Windermere Estate, was the only remnant of the local sand and gravel industry until it washed away in January 2011 floods.


Centenary Suburbs Historical Society, ‘Sand & Gravel Dredging Operations near the 17-mile rocks’ (, sighted 24 July 2017; Land title deeds held by Centenary Suburbs Historical Society ; Oral information from people who worked for Stirling Sand & Gravel.

Image Citations

Gravel processing barge and tug boat in the Brisbane River, circa 1970s. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Record number: 167129.

Map References

Qimagery. Brisbane 1958. Scale: 1:24,000.