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Bundaberg

The meaning of «bundaberg»

Bundaberg is a city in the Bundaberg Region, Queensland, Australia.[3] It is the headquarters of the Bundaberg Regional Council and a major centre within the broader Wide Bay–Burnett geographical region.

In the 2016 census Bundaberg had a population of 50,148 people in the Bundaberg urban area.[1]

In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated a population of 70,921 people in Bundaberg's significant urban area (which includes some rural areas outside the Bundaberg urban area).[2][4]

The city is about 385 kilometres (239 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) inland from the Coral Sea coast and situated on the Burnett River.

The name was coined by surveyor John Charlton Thompson and his assistant Alfred Dale Edwards. Bunda is derived from the name of one of the kinship groups of the local Taribelang people, to which was added the Saxon suffix berg, meaning "town".[5] Colloquially the city is known as "Bundy".

Bourbong Street is the main street of the city and there is some controversy in regards to its spelling and meaning; Bourbong was alternatively spelled Bourbon or Boorbong, which was a local Aboriginal title given to a large waterhole in the area.[6] The main street was historically also gazetted in the Bundaberg Mail as "Bourbon" street, but by 1941 there is no reference to "Bourbon" street. Robert Strathdee's farming selection in the vicinity of the watering holes was recorded on early survey maps as 'Boorbung'.[7]

A pioneer pastoralist of the region, Nicholas Tooth, wrote that "Bourbong" was derived from the local Aboriginal phrase "bier rabong", meaning "plenty dead". Tooth, who took up land in the area in the early 1860s, found that Aboriginal people resolutely avoided the "bier rabong" vicinity. He later found the skeletal remains there of around twenty Aboriginal people who were apparently massacred in a raid by the Native Police.[8]

The Traditional owner Aboriginal group are the Taribelang Bunda people. They are the original inhabitants of the region.[9]

The first non-indigenous man to visit the area was James Davis in the 1830s. He was an escaped convict from the Moreton Bay Penal settlement who lived with the Kabi people to the south of the region. He resided mostly around the Mary River and was referred to as Durrumboi.[10] The Burnett River was surveyed by John Charles Burnett, after whom it was named during his exploration mission of the Wide Bay and Burnett regions in 1847.[11][12]

British occupation of the land in the region began in 1848 when pastoral squatters Gregory Blaxland Jnr and William Forster established a sheep station. Blaxland was a son of the Blue Mountains explorer, Gregory Blaxland, and Forster was later to become a Premier of New South Wales. They selected a very large area of land which encompassed most of the western part of the modern day Bundaberg Region along the Burnett River. They named this pastoral lease Tirroan. Blaxland and Forster had previously set up sheep stations near the Clarence River and had a notable history of conflict with Aboriginal people.[13] This continued at Tirroan when two of their shepherds were killed by Aboriginal people in 1849. Forster and Blaxland led a punitive expedition causing multiple Aboriginal deaths. Further conflict occurred the following year when Blaxland was clubbed to death. Forster and a number of other squatters conducted another reprisal, resulting in a large massacre of Aboriginal people in scrubland toward the coastal part of Tirroan. In the early 1850s, Forster sold the property to Alfred Henry Brown who changed the name of the pastoral lease to Gin Gin. At the same time, Native Police officer, Richard Purvis Marshall, took up the Bingera leasehold in the rainforest scrubland downstream from Tirroan. Three towns in the Bundaberg region, Tirroan, South Bingera and Gin Gin, commemorate these massive initial leaseholds.[14][15]

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