The Moreton Bay Convict Settlement

Under the direction of the newly appointed Commandant, Lieutenant Henry Miller, an advance party of fourteen soldiers and about thirty convicts left Sydney in the Government brig 'Amity' on 1 September 1824 to establish a convict settlement in Moreton Bay. The Surveyor-General of New South Wales, John Oxley, was in command of the ship and was also responsible for selecting and charting suitable sites for settlement.

Settlement officially commenced in Queensland on 14 September 1824 when Lieutenant Miller's party of convicts and guards were set down at Redcliffe. During the next few months, because of a shortage of softwoods near the settlement, parties were sometimes sent to the Pine Rivers area to cut Hoop Pine and Silky Oak for use in cabinet-making and interior fittings for the prefabricated buildings.

About the middle of December, a group of Aborigines stole an axe from a party of convicts and soldiers cutting timber at Yebri Creek near the present site of Petrie. The Aborigines were fired upon and one was killed. This over-reaction brought about a serious deterioration in race relations and led to retaliatory attacks on the convict settlement.

The settlement was moved to the present site of the central business district of Brisbane during May of the following year. A restricted area of 50 miles (80 kilometres) surrounding the settlement was subsequently declared off limits to free settlers. The whole of the area currently occupied by the Pine Rivers Shire was included within this restricted zone.

As the population of convicts, soldiers and civil servants grew, substantial buildings of stone or brick were erected to replace the first timber buildings. By 1831, when the population reached a maximum of about 1,200, agriculture was well established and the settlement was largely self-supporting. After this time, as the convicts' sentences expired and they returned to Sydney, few were replaced.

Andrew Petrie, newly appointed as the first civilian public servant, the Superintendent of Government Works, arrived at the Moreton Bay settlement on 28 August 1837. He and his descendants were to make an enormous impact upon the history of the Pine Rivers Shire. Andrew made a number of private journeys through the Pine Rivers area and he was the first European to climb Mount Beerwah, one of the Glass House Mountains. He was also the first person to bring back samples of the Bunya Pine.

Between 1839 and 1842, maps and town plans were prepared with a view to selling the land and the proclamation closing the Moreton Bay convict settlement was finally issued on 10 February 1842.