Short Stories – Funny Stories

Roger's Humourous Stories from Australia and the World

Caboolture in Queensland

Written By: Roger Crates - May• 03•11

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Caboolture In Queensland                                               AUDIO LINK
 I have decided to include Caboolture as an episode not because of anything in particular or because of anything amazing. I simply think of the place as has having a commonsense approach to creating an environment for an increasing population, and it, like so many other places in Australia it is what you make of it.

Caboolture sits about 50 kilometres north of Brisbane, the capital of lovely Queensland. It also adjacent to the sunshine coast and although quite close, and enjoying many of the benefits, it isn’t really considered as part of the hinterland to the tourist mecca of the Sunshine Coast.

Millennia before there was even a Sunshine Coast, the area was home to the Kabi Aboriginal people who also valued the area highly. In the Kabi language Kabultur means place of the carpet snake, this is a theme generally attributed to our original peoples whose name places were often derived from what was good to eat or plentiful in the area.

This whole area certainly lived up to that twin promise for the Kabi, with a seasonal distribution of plenty and good. That dependent on where in the area you chose to go to take advantage of that seasonal dearth. Fresh water mussels, native bee honey, animals of all kinds and of course the carpet snake.

As Caboolture was a little distance away from the coast and enjoys a higher elevation, the Bunya pine was also plentiful then and the Kabi people enjoyed a festival which was held each year based around the Bunya pine’s delicious nuts.

Apart from the cultural responsibilities, this magnificent tree also gave the people the opportunity to have a party and indulge their passion for the Bunya nuts, a perennial favourite of Aboriginal peoples wherever these wonderful trees grew.

There is evidence that the Bunya festival was a significant event not only for the Kabi people but for groups from all over the region. They would congregate for the festivities which would naturally include singing and dancing and I am sure a fair bit of flirting and loving too.

The Bunya pine was also sought after by the white folk as they settled into the district and with the clearing of the land a reoccurring pattern was emerging, lumber gives way to dairy which may give way to or co-exist with the beef cattle industry.

The Caboolture area was not immune to this path of development and beef cattle is a vital part of the local economy still. One part of the local economy that is a little different and will be seen more often as I head North at some stage, is that sugar cane farming became a serious crop both then and now. There is also a thriving Vegetable growing sector which supplies the ever expanding Brisbane market.

The early settlement of Caboolture was also a centre of social activity for the gold diggers of the Gympie area after gold was found in the 1860’s although there is no evidence that Caboolture became a typical gold rush boom town with all the negative aspects of similar towns. This may be because of its relative closeness to the metropolis of Brisbane and the fact that the area was semi established with the services that people enjoyed in the 1860’s. Cobb and Co operated a Brisbane coach service very successfully and a rail link was established in 1868


Caboolture River 1907

Caboolture Railway today





At he head of this piece I mentioned I decided to write this entry on the development of Caboolture as an Brisbane satellite, so if we may lets zoom forward to the 1970,s the northern migration from the southern states had begun and it might seem tenuous but young people of the time (baby boomers) like me were giving greater consideration to changing the traditional lifestyles of our Parents and forefathers.

Lots of social reasons for it, including the advent of up to date television news and freedom of the media in reporting on the realities of the Vietnam war. The lifestyle changes affirmed with the contraceptive pill giving the long overdue notion of a Woman’s freedom and liberation and choice. These things seem unrelated to Caboolture but without them young people of the time would not have been so eager to accept as Aldous Huxley termed it “the brave new world”

Part of the brave new world meant moving around exchanging or displacing family roots for a better lifestyle than we saw in our own childhoods. Even the rebel without a cause sort of idea had its place in our development much to the chagrin of our parents.

My own dear Dad hated the Beatles, I loved ’em, he hated the music as well and somehow prejudiced himself out of some of the great music of all time. No doubt I, like many others carry on this foolish tradition in some form or other. My own pet hate in music is Rap and Doof doof, which to my older mindset seems to take us back, in time Rap rubbish into a macho misogynistic time warp and Doof doof techno junk back to throbbing rythms of the stone age. Oops…… my prejudices are showing.

So people were on the move and Queensland was getting more than its fair share of them, pressure on infrastructure was stretched and it was obvious new and more housing was a priority. Other governments here and around the world tried to band aid the problem or installed the poorer people (always more people than housing for them) in tenements or housing estates which are of course names for pre-ghetto slums.

Sydney has them, Melbourne has them, the US and Britain certainly have them too, but in Cabooture, the Government created small ¼ acre blocks and then divided up larger rural estates into 1 or ¾ acres lots allowing for different socioeconomic groups to live in an area where the divide between people or culture was not based on where you lived, they all lived here.

This hopefully has the effect that some people living in a new community and who may be sliding into the notion that poverty is the normal state, will see right next door, that better and more wealthy states of living are unattainable.

Good for you Caboolturites and the Government.

Caboolture also has a country music festival and just to show as Paul Kelly said ‘From little things big things grow” and from that little country music festival and from the little town comes Mr. Kieth Urban, more than a world headliner and nice bloke but possibly a product of the egalitarian attitude fostered by his hometown….. Caboolture.

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