Work starts on 925-home estate near Deebing Creek mission
WORK will begin within weeks to build 925 homes near one of Ipswich's most sacred Indigenous sites.
Frasers Property Australia will start work in February on a new masterplanned community off Grampian Rd at Deebing Creek.
The plan will result in the heritage-listed Deebing Creek Mission being open to the public for the first time in 103 years.
The site of the old mission, important trees and a 120m- area across Deebing Creek will become public space.
Frasers Property will begin preliminary works in the northwestern corner of the 115ha site, outside the heritage-listed area, in February.
The new community will include about 925 new homes, sporting fields, multiple parks and a school.
Frasers Property purchased the land in 2015, part of which contains the Queensland Heritage Place Listing for the former Deebing Creek Mission, in a narrow corridor along Deebing Creek.
The cemetery adjoining the site, also Heritage Place Listed, is owned by the State Government and is not part of Frasers Property's land.
Frasers Property Queensland general manager Cameron Leggatt said the development would respect and communicate the cultural significance of the site.
"We have undertaken a thorough community consultation process over the past few years, involving more than 50 meetings with more than 150 stakeholders, to ensure we fully understand and appreciate the important history and heritage values associated with this site," he said.
"It has been a rich learning experience for the team, we've received many insights during the consultation, and the masterplan for the new community reflects what we've learnt throughout this process."
For the past three years, Frasers Property Australia has been consulting with the community and traditional landholders about its plans for the site.
Mr Leggatt said a heritage agreement would acknowledge the site's significance and provide the community with certainty around the conservation of the site.
"At the completion of this community, the Mission site will again become accessible to the public, something that has not been possible for 103 years," Mr Leggatt said.
"The mission site is an important part of Queensland history, and is particularly significant to descendants of the Indigenous people who were residents at the mission."
The story of a massacre at Deebing Creek in colonial times has been passed down through generations of the local Aboriginal tribes.
Indigenous folklore tells the story of a group of school children who were shot at the old site and their teacher killed in the crossfire as she tried to stop the killings.
The mission area will be dedicated as public open space with no residential development to occur within the heritage-listed area.
The heritage-listed former mission area will feature a memorial sporting field, rehabilitated landscape, heritage trails, installations that retell the important story of the Deebing Creek Mission and its people, and increased green space along Deebing Creek.