Eight Mile Plains, a residential and industrial suburb, is on the South East Freeway and Logan Road, 13 km south-east of central Brisbane. The origin of the name is obscure, but it was apparently given by early settlers, perhaps a reference to the distance from One Mile Swamp (Woolloongabba) on Logan Road. The Eight Mile Plains Agricultural Reserve was proclaimed in 1864 and was subdivided into nearly 100 allotments. The original small urban settlement was at the intersection of Logan and Miles Platting Road, positioned between the tributaries of the Bulimba Creek. A landmark Queensland vernacular house, Hughesville, at the corner of Logan Road and Padstow Road (the continuation of Miles Platting Road) is on the Australian heritage register.
In 1866 the Glen Hotel was opened, a convenient stopping place for wayfarers on the Logan Road. It was also the local meeting place for Eight Mile Plains' farmers, who had the advantages of well-watered farm land and access to Brisbane Markets via Logan Road. A post office was opened in 1868 and a primary school in 1869. The South Coast railway (1885) passed Eight Mile Plains to the west and the south although the Kuraby station lay near its southern border. A church (1902) was built in Millers Road for use by various Protestant congregations.
With the growth of motor traffic on the Logan Road (Pacific Highway) several garages along the main road were recorded in the Queensland Post Office Directory 1949, along with timber merchants, plant nurseries, mixed business and over 100 farmers, poultry farmers and fruit growers. By then reticulated electricity (1936) had been connected to the area.
The population of about 300 in the 1920s had increased to 800 in the early postwar years and to about 2000 in the late 1970s. Mt Gravatt and Upper Mount Gravatt were maturing as suburbs by then, and Eight Mile Plains was the next area for residential subdivision. A new school building was erected on the site in Logan Road, near Miller Road, replacing the simple verandahed building which had usually served as a one-teacher school. Numerous churches were built during the 1970s-80s for new populations, including Romanian, Yugoslav, Chinese and Sikh. An A-framed Catholic church was erected in Logan Road in 1969. An elegant perpendicular Gothic Lutheran church was erected in Levington Road in 1951.
Eight Mile Plains' population doubled to 6800 during 1981-91, and another 4000 were added during 1991-2001. The South East Freeway was built through the north of the suburb in 1985 looping southwards quite close to Logan Road. At a point where the two run quite close to each other, a new primary school site was chosen. Other educational sites in the suburb include the Warrigal Road primary school (1979) and a special school. Despite the suburb's large population, high schools lie beyond its borders at Runcorn and Rochedale. Open space is similarly meagre, apart from linear parks on Bulimba Creek and its tributaries at the extremities of Eight Miles Plains. Local shopping is at Padstow/Warrigal Roads and regional centres are at Upper Mount Gravatt (Garden City) and Underwood. The Brisbane Technology Park at Logan Road/Miles Platting Road was completed in 2000.
The median age of the residents of Eight Mile Plains in 2001 was 32 years, two years less than the metropolitan median. A relatively large proportion of the population over 15 years has an academic or trade qualification, but the median weekly income per person was $387 ($416 for metropolitan Brisbane). The leading employment sectors were wholesale and retail distribution (23% of total employed residents), manufacturing and construction (16%) and property and business (13%).
The census populations of Eight Mile Plains have been:
Eight Mile Plains State centenary booklet, Eight Mile Plains, Eight Mile Plains State School Parents & Citizens' Association, 1969
Ron Donovan, A history of Kuraby and Eight Mile Plains, Runcorn, Kuraby District Community Support Group Inc, 2000