Capital and chief port of the state of Queensland, Australia; population (2001 est) 1,627,500. Brisbane is situated on the east coast of Australia, 14 km/9 mi inland of the mouth of the River Brisbane, about 29 km/18 mi south of Moreton Bay. It is the third-largest city in Australia, and the financial and commercial centre for Queensland; it is also the major manufacturing centre of the state, with diverse industries including shipbuilding, engineering, oil refining, brewing, food processing, tobacco production, tanning, the manufacture of motor vehicles, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, shoes, and clothing. As well as industrial products, including processed foods, the port exports large quantities of wool and cereals. Tourism is also important. A pipeline from Moonie carries oil for refining. Brisbane has three universities, Queensland University (1909), Griffith University (1975), and Queensland University of Technology (1989).
Brisbane was founded as a penal colony (moved from its original site at Moreton Bay in 1825), and named after the Scottish astronomer Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales 1821-25. The convict settlement was broken up in 1839, and free settlers were admitted from 1842. In 1859, when Queensland became a separate colony from New South Wales, Brisbane was chosen as the state capital. Brisbane city council, the first greater city council in Australia, was created in 1925, and the city of Brisbane is Australia's largest municipality.
Notable buildings include Parliament House, City Hall, and the Windmill, Brisbane's oldest building. The Windmill was built by convicts, and when the winds failed, convicts were required to turn the sails; it was known as the ‘Tower of Torture’. The River Brisbane is dredged to carry ocean-going ships, and is navigable by large vessels as far as the city. Six bridges for road traffic and two for rail traffic provide links across the river between the north and south sections of the city. Brisbane is the terminus for all the main railways in Queensland and has an airport. It has two national and four commercial broadcasting stations, and three racecourses.
The climate is warm throughout the year, with heavy rains and high humidity from December to February.
Cultural facilities and programmes
Brisbane offers diverse cultural facilities, with indigenous, contemporary, and heritage programmes. The Boondall Wetlands region has an Aboriginal Art Trail, which consists of 18 aluminium sculptures scattered over the wetlands; the Mount Coot-tha Aboriginal Art Trail is a 1.5 km/1 mi track which includes eight art works. ‘Bandshake’, organized by Brisbane City Council, is a Youth Music Programme which provides practice space and skill development for the young musicians of Brisbane.
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