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During 1867, timbergetters and co-founders of Bundaberg, John and Gavin Steuart, camped on a site later occupied by North Bundaberg Railway Station. Thomas Watson, the first farmer arrived later in the Year. In 1868, Samuel Johnston erected a sawmill on the north bank of the Burnett River, downstream from the Steuart and Watson holdings. Timber, Bundaberg's first industry as established. Surveyor J C Thompson and his assistant, A D Edwards, surveyed, laid out and named Bundaberg in 1870. by 1872, the population of the township and immediate district was about 200. Timber supplies ran short and a new industry, maize (corn) production was established. Returns were excellent until pests and disease devastated the industry in the late 1870s.
Local Government came into being during 1873 with the establishment of Bundaberg Progress Committee. In 1881, Bundaberg was gazetted a municipality and Municipal Council elected. Bundaberg was gazetted a town during 1902 and a city in 1913. During this four-decade period newspapers were established; government departments came into being; education and ecclesiastical needs met; a railway arrived; parliamentary representation was achieve; in the Town Reach of the Burnett River a port was built; health and hospitals received attention; cultural and recreational activities were being enjoyed by the community.
Although the Great Depression caused many problems in the years between the two world wars. Bundaberg City Council embarked on two major and progressive projects. During 1928, all city streets were sealed with bitumen. Bundaberg was the first non-metropolitan Queensland town or city to use special surfacing equipment and bitumen imported from Trinadad.
The second project was the construction of a sewerage system. Except for one small area the city was sewered when World War Two broke out. In this work Bundaberg was one of, if not the most progressive town or city in Queensland.
At the beginning of World War Two Bundaberg's population totalled 13,000 and now it's 46,000.
Bundaberg has a rapidly expanding tourism industry and is marketed as the Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. In season whale-watchers are catered for with day tours from August to mid October. Backpacking tourist contribute greatly to the city's economy.
If You need more information about Bundaberg, visit its official website.