Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Q150 - What Is It All about? A Tourist Haven, an Economic Powerhouse and Great Innovators {Ndash} It's Time to Get Excited

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Q150 - What Is It All about? A Tourist Haven, an Economic Powerhouse and Great Innovators {Ndash} It's Time to Get Excited

Article excerpt

IN 2009 Queensland marks a truly memorable milestone - our 150th anniversary.

Reflecting on our past or looking ahead - we have every reason to celebrate.

It's time to get excited. Today is Proclamation Day and Queensland is 22 days away from is biggest birthday year yet.

There are almost 500 Q150 community funded events alone that Queenslanders can participate in and enjoy throughout the state next year.

This is on top of the Q150 Steam Train, Q150 Shed and Q150 Film Festival.

There are hundreds of activities in the Q150 program for next year. More events are being uploaded to www.q150.qld.gov.au (http://www.q150.qld.gov.au) every week.

In 2009, Queensland will be 150 years young and it's a time for reflecting on our achievements, confronting our challenges, celebrating our identity and looking to the future with confidence.

We know we're up to it. Look how far we've come.

From a shunned convict settlement we've become a tourist magnet, an economic powerhouse and the source of some of the world's great innovations.

In 1859 Queensland's official population comprised a mere 23,520 people largely confined to the south-east corner.

Settlement had reached Gladstone and Rockhampton, but Cairns, Townsville and Mackay were mere twinkles in the eyes of the colony's founding fathers.

The colony's 1.72 million square kilometres of territory from tropical rainforest to desert and from temperate tablelands to hot, humid plains had its challenges.

It's no secret, those early days were tough. The colony was bankrupt.

But in 1867 the discovery of gold in Gympie changed all that with Queensland experiencing what was possibly its first influx of inter-colony and overseas migrants, a sign of things to come.

Agriculture, livestock and timber industries were the staples in the early days. The colony had started mining coal at Ipswich but coal remained an economic sleeper for some time.

It took more than a century before Queensland first began to realise the huge potential of Ludwig Leichhardt's 1840s discovery of the Blackwater coal deposits.

By 1902 when the colony became a state of the newly formed Federation of Australia, 500,000 people called Queensland home. …

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