Beenleigh and adjoining suburbs are located near the confluence of the Logan and Albert Rivers. The residential and urban suburb lies southwest of the Pacific Motorway after it crosses the Logan River and is crossed by the Gold Coast railway line. Logan River Parklands contain a boat ramp, barbeques, and a picnic area. Whilst it was once a stand-alone town built on sugar and home to Australia's oldest rum distillery built in 1864, increasing development in South East Queensland since the 1980s has seen it enveloped by Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
This is the Yugambeh People's country, antedating European settlement by tens of thousands of years. Their Yugambeh language and heritage survive and is a testament to the Yugambeh Museum located in the town.
Beenleigh was first colonised in the 1860s, with the first permanent European settlement occurring by John Davy and Frank Gooding, who named their sugarcane plantation Beenleigh in memory of their family estate in Devonshire, England. The first sugarcane mill was built in 1867, and by 1885, another 29 were operational.
Beenleigh Post Office opened on 1 August 1867.
On 3 December 1885, 85 resubdivided allotments of "Beenleigh Township Estate" were advertised to be auctioned by J.R. Dickson and Co. on 26 December 1885. A map advertising the auction states that the Estate was close to the Beenleigh Railway Station and was the property of the late Peter Benz.
In October 1886, a well-known property on the Albert River owned by W. K. Witty called "Yellowwood Estate" was advertised for subdivision into suitable sized farms and then auctioned by Simon Fraser & Son. A map advertising the auction states that 40 choice farms were available and the auction was to be held on Saturday 27 November at the Palm’s Hotel, Beenleigh.
Commercial dairying in the area began in 1889. Beenleigh State School was opened on 6 February 1871.
In June 1922, 12 portions of farm land located on the Logan River were advertised to be auctioned by Cameron Bros Auctioneers. A map advertising the auction states that the land was within easy reach of Cleveland Railway Station and Beenleigh, and that there was a steamer service weekly. The land was advertised as suitable for growing arrowroot and sugarcane and magnificent for dairying.
Beenleigh Memorial Park, 2014
The Beenleigh Memorial Park was dedicated on 21 August 1925.
The abattoir was established in 1952 for beef production, and is still one of the largest industries in Beenleigh. Beenleigh State High School opened on 29 January 1963. Beenleigh Special School opened on 1 January 1981.
Beenleigh was the centre of the Shire of Albert, which also included the suburbs of Eagleby, Alberton, Mt Warren Park, Windaroo, Edens Landing, Holmview, Pimpama, and Jacobs Well. In 1995, Albert Shire was dissolved and Beenleigh and the surrounding suburbs were then amalgamated into City of Gold Coast. In 2008, these suburbs were transferred from Gold Coast City to City of Logan (despite protests from locals, who voted against being part of Logan).
In the 2011 census, Beenleigh recorded a population of 8,244 people, 49.5% female and 50.5% male. The median age of the Beenleigh population was 34 years, compared to the national median age of 37; 66.9% of people living in Beenleigh were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 8.1%, England 3.4%, the Philippines 1.1%, Brazil 0.6%, and Germany 0.5%. About 81.5% of people spoke only English at home; the next-most common languages were 0.7% Portuguese, 0.6% Tagalog, 0.6% Vietnamese, 0.4% Spanish, and 0.3% German.
Beenleigh has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Distillery Road: Beenleigh Rum Distillery
- Main Street: St George's Anglican Church
Still predominately a self-sufficient town with expanding retail and commercial areas close by, Beenleigh is home to three shopping centres with Coles Supermarkets, Woolworths, Big W, Aldi, and a Mitre 10 MEGA.
At the heart of Beenleigh stands the Southern District Court complex, first established in 1871. For many years, the court was constituted solely of three magistrates; this changed with the allocation of a permanent sitting District Court of Queensland Judge in 1998. The first presiding district court judge in Beenleigh was Judge O'Brien. Recently, the Southern District Court complex has played an integral role in the development of the progressive Drug Court.
Beenleigh Mitre 10 MEGA opened in 2004; it was the company's first Australian MEGA store, and it employs over 200 people.
Day care facilities are available at the Lutheran Beenleigh Family Day Care Scheme.
Beenleigh is situated on the Pacific Motorway. Queensland Rail City network provides frequent services to Brisbane and the Gold Coast via the Beenleigh railway line at the centrally located Beenleigh railway station.
Three major high schools are within the immediate area of Beenleigh, including Beenleigh State High School, as well as many primary schools.
The town has a community centre and two theatres (Crete Street Theatre and Phoenix Ensemble).
The Logan City Council operate a public library at Crete Street.
The Beenleigh branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre at 10 James Street.
The Beenleigh Historical Village preserves 20 historic buildings and houses a number of collections of historic material from the region. The town is also home to the Beenleigh Artisan Distillers, Australia's oldest rum distillery, Yugambeh Language and Research Centre, Poppy's Chocolates and Windaroo Organic Cottage just 5 minutes out of town.
Social events of note are the annual Rum, Rump, and Rhumba Festival, Eats and Beats Food Trucks, and the Beenleigh Show.
Sporting facilities that are represented in Beenleigh cover baseball, soccer, BMX, football, tennis, swimming, netball, and roller derby. Beenleigh enjoys access to the Logan River via a boat ramp located near the northern bridge on the Pacific Motorway.
Top Beenleigh Issues
- Cost of Rates
- Local Road Congestion
- Business Opportunities