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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson


    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009


    The efforts of early explorers who helped shape and pioneer Queensland are being honoured as part of Q150 celebrations

    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson today launched a joint Q150 and Spatial Sciences Institute project to honour the surveyors who last century mapped out Queensland.

    “They say rail opened up Queensland,” Mr Robertson said.

    “But it was the surveyors of the 1840s who traversed this state through sometimes unhospitable terrain that deserve some special recognition.

    “In those days, it wouldn’t surprise me if the job description, if they indeed existed as we know them today, was a combination of explorer, swagman and surveyor.

    “They marked out the routes for towns, rail tracks and roads that made the development of Queensland possible.

    “Many of Queensland’s early explorers and surveyors travelled on foot for months at a time to some of the most remote and inhospitable corners of the state, braving climatic extremes and sickness.

    “They made huge personal sacrifices to map new territories and define our state’s borders and Queensland owes a debt of gratitude to them.”

    The Queensland Government granted the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland Division) $80,000 to install up to 60 permanent survey marks (PSMs) in eight regions around the State.

    The PSMs will be located from Cairns to the Gold Coast, inland to Mount Isa, Longreach and Birdsville. PSMs are part of the legal system setting land boundaries for Queensland.

    Mr Robertson said visitors and locals alike will be able to reflect on yesterday’s achievers.

    “Each marker will detail a historical story of one of Queensland’s early explorers and surveyors and their contribution to settling the region,” he said.

    “With this year being Queensland’s 150th birthday year, it’s great to see the unsung heroes of yesterday honoured and the profession of surveying and spatial sciences given the credit it so deserves for giving Queensland the parameters it has today.

    “Queenslanders will be able to use these Permanent Marks to check the accuracy of their in-car or hand-held navigation devices, as directional signage will display their latitude and longitude.

    “Imagine that – a tourist in the latest 4WD with all the mod cons checking a GPS point beside the same place where a surveyor from years gone by rested with his horse and compass.”

    Early surveyors started opening up the Moreton Bay settlement and beyond around 1840. Since 1859 when Queensland separated from NSW, surveyors have marked the State’s boundaries, set out its first towns and cities, and surveyed the roads and rail lines that helped open up the vast wealth of the outback.

    Dr Neil Divett, Patron of the SSSI Q150 project said the Institute was grateful to the Bligh Government and to Councils throughout the State for their support for helping achieve a wide distribution of the marks.

    “We are proud that a small, dedicated group of volunteer members are marking the achievements of Queensland’s past surveyors and map makers through this project,” he said.

    “They and their colleagues are forging a path for Queensland’s future. Their contribution is vital as the public use of spatial science, such as GPS, is more and more becoming part of our everyday world”.

    2009 marks Queensland’s 150th anniversary year of separation from New South Wales.

    About 60 survey marks will be fixed into the ground and unveiled throughout the year in a Q150 funded project organised by the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.

    Visit for a program of Q150 activities around the State as well as a Q150 calendar of events.

    Media inquiries:

    Minister’s office: 3224 7332