In the foothills of the D’Aguilar Range to the north of Ipswich, Mt Crosby has played a vital role in the development and well-being of Brisbane.
A large, steam-powered pumping station was built at Mt Crosby in 1891 to guarantee a reliable water supply to the capital and a treatment plant was added in the early 1900s. While the plant was a vital link in the Brisbane water supply, it was critical to the town. At one point almost every household was dependent on a plant wage and 90 per cent of the local school students were children of waterworks employees.
Explorer John Oxley called the area Belle Vue in 1824, but because many early settlers had migrated from Crosbie-on-Eden on the Scottish border, the town was later renamed.
Today Mt Crosby is a largely residential area, but its rural roots appeal to environmentalists who are striving to conserve the remaining pockets of bushland in the Karana Downs region. They identify the pockets as sanctuaries for more than 50 species of birds, wallabies and possums.