Salisbury, a residential suburb, is nine km south of central Brisbane and extends to Nathan and the Toohey Forest Park. Originally known as Rocklea East, Salisbury was named when the railway station was opened on the South Coast railway line (1885). A property in Rocklea owned by William Coote, journalist and historian, was named Salisbury.
The Rocky Water Holes Creek, its headwaters in Toohey Forest Park, runs westwards through Salisbury. Although the creek's lower catchment was extensively flooded in 1893 and 1974, most of Salisbury avoided inundation. The area was fairly intensively farmed, and settlement was encouraged by the opening of the South Coast railway. A post office was opened in 1889, a primary school in 1920 and a progress association hall in 1921.
In 1941 Salisbury was sufficiently out of town for the siting of a munitions works in Evans Road, and made accessible by extension of the Beaudesert Road tram service from Moorooka to the junction of Evans Road and Precision Street. (The evidence of the munitions works can be seen in the street names - Assembly, Bearing, Lathe etc.) There was other local employment, beginning with the construction of the interstate railway line from Salisbury in 1925 and the State railway workshops east of the intersection of the railway line and a station platform named Nyanda.
The tram and train lines, the industry infrastructure left after the war and Salisbury's short distance from Brisbane ensured urban settlement in the 1950s-60s. A State high school opened in 1954 and a Catholic primary school in 1964. The State primary school, crammed on to a small site near the middle of Salisbury, had an enrolment of over 1000 pupils in 1963. The high school, with more space, had nearly 1500, tapering back to 800 in the 1970s. It was renamed Nyanda High in 1998. Next to the Catholic school there is the Assembly of God's Southside Christian College (1985).
By the 1990s some of the industrial sites were reaching the end of their life. The munitions area was redeveloped for industrial/commercial uses, some by strata occupancy, and the railway workshops were stripped back and repaired for the Yeronga TAFE campus. Salisbury's population declined from 6500 to 5200 between 1976 and 2001, but the median age was 35, only one year more than the metropolitan figure. The suburb's industrial history is reflected in its income levels: the weekly median income per resident in 2001 was $345, compared with $416 for metropolitan Brisbane. There are parks along Rocky Water Holes Creek, the largest with a cycle path and bowls club. Local shops are nearby.
Salisbury also has a Catholic primary school (1964) and the Assemblies of God co-ed P-12 Southside Christian College (1985). Its census populations have been:
Salisbury State School 75th anniversary, Salisbury, The School, 1995
Beryl Roberts, A brief hstory of Salisbury, Brisbane, The Committee, 1988