Murarrie ('Murra-ree'), a residential and industrial suburb is eight km east of central Brisbane. The travel distance whether by train or by the Gateway Motorway is considerably further. Bounded on the east by the Bulimba Creek, much of that part of Murarrie is wetland, and the part fronting the Brisbane River until recently was occupied by the Cannon Hill livestock saleyards. Murarrie's built-up area was thus concentrated around its railway station.

The name came about from Mooraree House (c1861), built by Christopher Porter, an architect and owner of a sugar plantation.

The riverfront area, known as Queensport, contained a meat works (1881), and the Bulimba A and B electric powerhouses (1926), (1953). There were serviced by spur railway lines. West of the meatworks a bulk sugar terminal and jetty adjoined the river. Another meatworks, a bacon factory (1913), adjoined the railway line. Saleyards holding pens occupied over 60 ha.

The railway line (1889) was built to put Wynnum and Cleveland in touch with Brisbane, and Murarrie was conveniently positioned on it for meatworks and related activites. A post office was opened in 1892 and a primary school in 1926. The saleyards, a brickworks and numerous butchering businesses provided local employment. In addition to these, the 1949 post office directory recorded a dripping merchant, a fertilizer manufacturer, and Borthwick's meat export works. There were two shops in Queensport Road. Somewhat later, an airport flight path passed over Murarrie.

In 1986 the Gateway Motorway was opened, passing across the Bulimba wetlands. By then the adjoining suburb of Cannon Hill was urbanised, and drive-in shopping centres were opened on its eastern boundary (1973-79), more or less in Murarrie. Cannon Hill Anglican College was opened in 1989. The time came in the 1990s for the closure and sale of the meatworks and adjacent stock-holding areas. That, and the removal of noxious industries, put Murarrie among the ranks of desirable suburbs. New industries were more benign, Queensland Newspaper's printery and Southgate Corporate Park. Mirvac's Park Hill estate on former saleyards land, a mixture of detached and townhouse dwellings, recorded an average sale price of $450,000 in 2003, a figure previously unheard of in Murarrie.

Murarrie has a recreation ground next to Bulimba Creek, two churches, a bulk sugar terminal on the Brisbane River, a vast acreage of wetland on the west side of Bulimba Creek, undeveloped acreages in Queensport and all of Gibson Island protruding into the river. Murarrie's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

The figures for the years 1954-71 included Cannon Hill, which was detached for the period 1976-2001 and the suburb was further reduced in 2003.


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