Rocklea is a large suburb of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. The suburb is located 9 kilometres south of the city. The west of the suburb is bordered by the Oxley Creek. The suburb's name is derived from the Rocky Waterholes in the area.
It is also at one end of the Ipswich Motorway and has a train station on the Beenleigh line. Ipswich Road continues north from the Ipswich Motorway, through Moorooka and into the Brisbane central business district.
Rocklea is a mostly industrial suburb, being the home to many large firms from a range industries. The suburb has a school, Rocklea State School, which was opened in 1885. At the 2011 Australian Census Rocklea had a population of 1,255.
The suburbs was once the centre of the Shire of Yeerongpilly which was established in 1879 and disbanded in 1925 after the City of Brisbane was created. In 1949, Commonwealth Engineering established a railway factory in Rocklea. On 31 July 2009 the last race was held at the Rocklea horse harness racing track.
Show Ground Estate Rocklea was offered for sale in the late 1920s by Queensland Development Company, consisting of 104 allotments. The estate map shows the Sydney-Brisbane rail corridor under construction (built 1925-1930). The Estate was adjacent to the Rocklea Showground and included Goburra, Corella, Boobook and Galah Streets. The southern border of the estate is labelled Fauna Parade, now Fauna Parade Park.
Rocklea Tramline Estate was advertised for auction on 11 September 1915 by Henry B Watson, auctioneer. 189 building sites were offered on Freney and Bale Streets, Rocklea. The map advertising the estate sale states that the estate was six minutes from Rocklea and Salisbury railway stations.
In the 2011 census, the population of Rocklea was 1,255, 45.3% female and 54.7% male. The median age of the Rocklea population was 36 years, one year below the Australian median. 60.5% of people living in Rocklea were born in Australia, which is somewhat less than the national average of 69.8%. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 5.2%, England 2.5%, India 2.2%, China 1.8%, Russia 1.4%. 69.4% of people spoke only English at home; the next most popular languages were 2.9% Russian, 2.8% Vietnamese, 2.1% Mandarin, 1.8% Tamil, 1.7% Arabic. The most common religious affiliation was "no religion" (25%), followed by Catholic (22%) and Anglican (10%).
Fruit and vegetable market
Rocklea is also the host to the Brisbane Markets, which is known for its flowers, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. The current markets were established in 1964. The opening of the markets occurred on 31 August and was attended by the then Premier of Queensland, Frank Nicklin. The markets occupy a 100 hectare site.
The first market in the area opened in 1866 and then closed in 1881. Roma Street Markets closer to the city were operational for a number of decades, together with the rival Turbot Street Fruit Markets, until congestion forced a move for the markets back to the suburbs in the 1960s.
The suburb is predominately zoned for industrial land uses. Many of the companies situated in Rocklea are part of the transport sector, with the proximity to Archerfield Airport being a drawcard. The Rocklea Works of English Electric built diesel-electric locomotives for several operators including the Queensland Railways 1600 class and successor classes.
DuluxGroup's main paint manufacturing facility is located in the suburb.
Rocklea is one of Brisbane's most flood affected suburbs. Severe damage was experienced in both the 1974 Brisbane flood and 2010–2011 Queensland floods. Flooding in Rocklea is particularly harmful to the coastal ecosystem because of the oil and other toxic chemicals which are washed downstream. The effect of flooding on the Brisbane Markets was minor in 1974 but since then the site has grown five times and in 2011 35 buildings were inundated.
After the 2011 flood, home and land values in the suburb decreased dramatically. The median house price decreased by 23.9%.
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- Sean Baumgart (15 January 2011). "Rocklea devastation a double blow". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Bridie Jabour (11 January 2011). "Frankly, property isn't dear because no-one promised a dam". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 22 September 2012.