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Salisbury, a residential suburb, is 9kms South of Central Brisbane and extends to Nathan & Toohey Forest. Originally known as Rocklea East, Salisbury was named when the railway station was opened on the South Coast railway line (1885). A property in Rocklea owned by William Coote, a journalist and historian, was name Salisbury.
The Rocky Water Holes Creek, it’s headwaters in Toohey Forest, runs westwards through Salisbury. Although the creek’s lower catchment was extensively flooded in 1893 and 1974, most of Salisbury avoided inundation. The area was fairly intensively farmed, and settlement was encouraged by the opening of the South Coast railway. A Post Office was opened in 1889, a Primary School in 1920, and a Progress Association Hall in 1921.
In 1941 Salisbury was sufficiently out of town of the siting of a munitions works in Evan’s Road, and made accessible by the extension of the Beaudesert Road Tram Service from Moorooka to the junction of Evan’s Road and Precision Street. (The evidence of the munitions works can be seen in the street names – Assembly, Bearing, Lathe etc.) There was other local employment, beginning with the construction of the interstate railway line from Salisbury in 1925 and the State railway workshops East of the intersection of the railway line and a station platform named Nyanda.
The area remained predominately rural until after the Second World War. By the end of October 1943, the production of small arms at the Rocklea Factory has ceased and the place was ready for re-occupation and conversion to engine overhaul for the Dpe.t of Aircraft Production. Provision was also made for the establishment on the site of the Salisbury Hotel.
The tram & tran lines, the industry infrastructure left after the war and Salisbury’s short distance from Brisbane ensured urban settlement in the 1950’s -60’s. A State High School opened in 1954 and a Catholic Primary School in 1964. The State Primary School, crammed onto a small site near the middle of Salisbury, has an enrolment of over 1,000 pupils in 1963. The High School with more space had nearly 1,500, tapering back to 800 in the 1970’s. It was renamed Nyanda High in 1998. Next to the Catholic School there is the Assembly of God’s Southside Christian College (1985).
In 1955, Orange Grove Road was extended North from Eastern end of Lillian Avenue to connect to the Eastern end of Evan’s Road. Toohey Road linked Salisbury to Tarragindi in September 1959. Significant residential development occurred during the post-war years, with rapid growth from the 1960’s.
By the 1990’s some of the industrial sites were reaching the end of their life. The munitions area was redeveloped for industrial/commercial uses, some by Strata occupancy, and the railway workshops were stripped back and repaired for the Yeronga TAFE Campus. Salisbury’s population declined from 6,500 to 5,200 between 1976 and 2001, but the median age was 35, only one year more than the metropolitan figure. In the 2011 census the population of Salisbury was at 6,096.
Today, Salisbury is an established residential and industrial area, with Substantial park-lands in the North. Major features of the area include Toohey Forest, Toohey Mountain, The Construction Training Centre, Skills Tech Australia (Salisbury Campus), Russ Hall Parl and a number of local schools, shops, aged care facilities, Bowls Club and Sporting facilities. The arear is serviced by both a railway station and a number of bus routes connecting to Brisbane Central Business district and surrounding areas.
Housing predominately consists of a variety of detached dwellings on various lot sizes, ranging from traditional Queenslander style homes on 800m2 modern style homes on 400m2. The area is undergoing change and renewal with many families seeking to make it their home.