Fortitude Valley, Queensland

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Fortitude Valley
BrisbaneQueensland
Fortitudevalley.jpg
Looking through to St Patricks Catholic Church in Fortitude Valley with the Brisbane CBD in the background
Population 5,615 (2011)[1]
 • Density 4,010/km2 (10,400/sq mi)
Established 1887
Postcode(s) 4006
Area 1.4 km2 (0.5 sq mi)
Location 1 km (1 mi) from Brisbane CBD
LGA(s) City of Brisbane
County Stanley
Parish North Brisbane
State electorate(s) Brisbane Central
Federal Division(s) Brisbane
Suburbs around Fortitude Valley:
Spring Hill Bowen Hills Newstead
Spring Hill Fortitude Valley New Farm
Brisbane CBD Brisbane River New Farm

Fortitude Valley (also known simply as "The Valley") is a suburb of central Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. The suburb lies immediately northeast of the Brisbane central business district, and is one of the hubs of Brisbane's nightlife, renowned for its Nightclubs, bars and adult entertainment. At the 2011 Australian Census Fortitude Valley recorded a population of 5,615.[1] In the 1950s, the suburb was the largest shopping precinct outside of a central business district in Australia.[2]

History[edit]

19th century cadastral map showing land plots for sale in Fortitude Valley.
The Chinatown Mall was opened in 1987.

Scottish immigrants from the ship SS Fortitude arrived in Brisbane in 1849, enticed by Rev Dr John Dunmore Lang on the promise of free land grants. Denied land, the immigrants set up camp in Bowen Hills. A number of the immigrants moved on and settled the suburb, naming it after the ship on which they arrived. A post office was established in 1887.[2]

1891 saw the train line extended from the Brisbane central business district into Fortitude Valley,[2] and Thomas Beirne opened a business on Brunswick Street. His business thrived and, after extension, he travelled to England in 1896, leaving his manager of two years, James McWhirter, in charge. Soon after his return, McWhirter established a competing drapery business opposite Beirne's in 1898. Beirne and McWhirter became keen rivals and are credited with establishing the Valley as a hub of commerce from the late 1890s.

In the late 19th century, commercial activities in Brisbane were divided along religious lines, with Protestant shopkeepers setting up along Queen and Adelaide Streets in the central business district, and shops operated by Roman Catholics in Stanley Street, South Brisbane. However in the 1893 Brisbane flood (and again in 1897), major floods wiped out many shops, and owners in that area decided to move and set up operations north of the river in an area free of flooding. The area they chose was Fortitude Valley. By that time Brisbane's horse-drawn tram system already centered on Fortitude Valley, making it the logical choice to establish a shopping precinct.

Fortitude Valley was also strongly advocated as the location of a new town hall in what became known as "the battle of the sites".[3] Proponents noted a more central site closer to the Valley on which stronger foundations existed over the swampy site on Adelaide Street in the commercial district. A petition was raised in support of the Adelaide Street site and with the support of the mayor, it was chosen over the Fortitude Valley site.[3]

From the early 1900s through to the 1960s, the thriving shopping precinct was dominated by McWhirters, Beirne's and, later, Overells' department stores. The Overells Building was completed in 1907.[4] They were ultimately bought out by the Myer, David Jones and Waltons chains respectively with Overells being bought by Walton in 1956.[4] Woolworths and Coles supermarkets and a host of smaller shops also flourished in the precinct during this period. Owing to its proximity to the central business district and the close concentration of public transport in the area, the Valley became the largest non-CBD shopping precinct in Australia through the 1950s and 1960s.

The rise of suburban shopping centres and the closure of the tram network in 1969 sounded the death knell for Fortitude Valley, with a gradual decrease in customers. David Jones closed its Valley store in the 1970s and Myer closed its doors in the early 1990s, and the once-thriving commercial centre devolved to dilapidation. In the 1970s and 1980s, the area fell into disrepute and, with the tacit support of police and government, illegal gambling houses and brothels set up shop. As the first step to its revitalisation, the Chinatown Mall opened in 1987.

Entertainment district[edit]

The 1990s saw the development of Fortitude Valley into a thriving live music scene and nightclub district. In 1991, the Brunswick Street pedestrian shopping mall was established. Thereafter, the Brisbane City Council led a concerted urban renewal campaign, encouraging high density residential development around the suburb.

In 1999, residents' complaints about neighbouring clubs' live music threatened the closure of the Empire Hotel and the Press Club, two established venues. Musicians and their fans revolted through the "Save the Music" campaign and, 20,000 signatures later, petitioned Brisbane City Council and the State Government to address the emerging problem. That resulted in 2005 in the establishment of Australia's first "Special Entertainment Precinct", designed to protect live music and new residents through planning restrictions.[5]

In 2012, around 50,000 people head to Fortitude Valley's clubs, pubs and restaurants each weekend night.[6]

Valley Music Harmony Plan[edit]

The Brisbane City Council commenced the development of a Valley Music Harmony Plan in July 2002. The plan was developed in response to ongoing conflict that has arisen between residents and the entertainment industry in Fortitude Valley. The aim of the Valley Music Harmony Plan is to manage the impacts of music noise on residents and businesses without compromising the viability of the entertainment industry in Fortitude Valley.

The Fortitude Valley's Special Entertainment Precinct exempts entertainment venues within the area from the amplified noise requirements of the Liquor Act 1992, and allows council to manage amplified music noise under the Amplified Music Venues Local Law 2006. It also requires new residential and accommodation development construction to achieve a minimum noise reduction of 25 decibels in the 63 hertz frequency band.[7] Around 30 venues are licensed to trade until 5:00 am.[6]

Drink Safe Precinct[edit]

The Fortitude Valley Drink Safe Precinct was a two-year long trial starting in December 2010.[8] Trials also took place in Surfers Paradise and Townsville. After one year club owners responded positively to the trial. Statistics released in May 2012 showed arrests, evictions and tickets for liquor infringements have declined.[6]

Since 2006, all late-night venues within the Fortitude Valley entertainment area must not allow entry and re-entry of patrons from 3:00 am onwards.[9]

Commercial Area[edit]

Retailers[edit]

McWhirters entrance and original fascade, 2010

Fortitude Valley represents a premier home shopping destination in Brisbane and has a range of national home retailers. Decorative and home shopping retailers include Winning Appliances, Harvey Norman, Nick Scali Furniture, Oz Design Furniture and Everyday Living.[10] Karen White Gallery. Secure Taxi Ranks to enable patrons to catch a Taxi home are set up at various strategic points and enable easy access without the need to hail a Cab. Funding for this free service is provided by the Brisbane City Council, the Queensland State Government and the Taxi Council of Queensland. These Secure Ranks are manned by Taxi Supervisors and Security Guards to ensure commuters an orderly and safe environment whilst they wait for service. Most Taxis legally request a deposit prior to commencing a journey. This alleviates any likelihood of someone "doing a runner" in the suburbs as well as possible overcharging. A 'Chaplain' service also operates where some people might be suffering the effects of excess drugs or alcohol and need some care and attention in a safe place rather than on a bench or footpath. The combination of these services have assisted to reduce the incidents of fights, disputes and arrests especially between the hours of Midnight and 5 a.m. on weekends.

Transport[edit]

Tracks and platforms at Fortitude Valley railway station

Brisbane Transport operates buses to, from and through Fortitude Valley. Fortitude Valley railway station serves all suburban and interurban lines, including Airtrain to the Brisbane Airport. The station has four platforms and is located in Zone 1 of the TransLink integrated public transport system.

Taxis[edit]

Secure Taxi Ranks to enable patrons to catch a Taxi home are set up at various strategic points and enable easy access without the need to hail a Cab. Funding for this free service is provided by the Brisbane City Council, the Queensland State Government and the Taxi Council of Queensland. These Secure Ranks are manned by Taxi Supervisors and Security Guards to ensure commuters an orderly and safe environment whilst they wait for service. Most Taxis legally request a deposit prior to commencing a journey. This alleviates any likelihood of someone "doing a runner" in the suburbs as well as possible overcharging.

A 'Chaplain' service also operates where some people might be suffering the effects of excess drugs or alcohol and need some care and attention in a safe place rather than on a bench or footpath.
The combination of these services have assisted to reduce the incidents of fights, disputes and arrests especially between the hours of Midnight and 5 a.m. on weekends.

Speed limits[edit]

On 24 August 2007, a 40 km (25 mi) speed limit was introduced to parts of Wickham Street, Ann Street, McLachlan Street and Warner Street. The speed limit applies between 10 pm and 6 am from Friday to Sunday night. The speed limit was introduced following safety audits of the Fortitude Valley identifying pedestrian-vehicle conflict as a major issue.[11]

Population statistics[edit]

In the 2011 Census the population of Fortitude Valley is 5,615, 42.9% female and 57.1% male.

The median/average age of the Fortitude Valley population is 31 years of age, 6 years below the Australian average.

50.1% of people living in Fortitude Valley were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 4.5%, England 4.1%, China 2.2%, Ireland 1.8%, Korea, Republic of 1.3% . 65.1% of people speak English as their first language 2.4% Mandarin, 2.2% Cantonese, 2% Spanish, 1.1% Korean, 1.1% Japanese.

Local events and culture[edit]

Valley Fiesta[edit]

The Valley Fiesta is an annual three-day event featuring free live music, market stalls, food and drink from many local restaurants and cafés, and other entertainment. Artists that have performed at the Valley Fiesta include Tim Rogers, Butterfingers and Evermore on the main stage and Nick Skitz and End Of Fashion at surrounding venues.

International Jazz Festival[edit]

The International Jazz Festival replaced the biennial Valley Jazz Festival in 2013. The festival is put on by Jazz Queensland. It is 5 five day festival generally held during the first week of June.[12]

Straight Out of Brisbane (SOOB)[edit]

Straight Out of Brisbane was formed in 2002 by a group of emerging artists who wanted to create new opportunities in Queensland's independent cultural sector. The festival is not-for-profit artist-run event that features workshops, performances, exhibitions, screenings, live music and public art. The festival has been held every year up until 2007.

Fortitude Valley Diehards[edit]

Fortitude Valley Football Club, also simply known as "Valleys", were the oldest surviving rugby league team in Brisbane until their demise in 1995. In 2002, Valleys entered a partnership with another former Brisbane rugby league team, Brothers. Playing under the name Brothers-Valleys until changing their name to Brothers Diehards for the 2004 season. Valley's Juniors are still active members of the QRL South East Division having been based at Emerson Park in Grange since the 1970s.

Big Gay Day[edit]

Big Gay Day is a Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Trans-gender festival held over one day in and around the Wickham Hotel in Fortitude Valley. The celebration raises money for GLBT groups such as GLWA and Open Doors. Previous entertainment has included various local and international DJ's, performers such as Marcia Hines, Operator Please and TV Rock as well as drag shows.

Swimming[edit]

The Commercial Swimming Club trains at the Valley Pool and has produced many Olympic and World Champions.[13]

Heritage listings[edit]

Fortitude Valley has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Fortitude Valley (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Gregory, Helen; Dianne Mclay (2010). Building Brisbane's History: Structure, Sculptures, Stories and Secrets. Warriewood, New South Wales: Woodslane Press. p. 60. ISBN 9781921606199. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Laverty, John (1997), "Civic temple or tower of Babel: A history of Brisbane's City Hall", in Shaw, Barry, Brisbane:Corridors of Power, Papers 15, Brisbane: Brisbane History Group Inc, p. 18−19, ISBN 0-9586469-1-0 
  4. ^ a b Tony Moore (21 October 2011). "Run down but not out". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Live music lives on the Valley map". Council Newsroom. Brisbane City Council. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Tony Moore (2 May 2012). "Downward trend in Valley incidents". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Valley Music Harmony Plan
  8. ^ Amelia Bentley (30 August 2010). "Violence crackdown: Valley to be treated 'like Schoolies'". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Alison Sandy (27 September 2011). "State government plans to end Fortitude Valley 3am lockout". The Courier Mail (Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Homemaker Information Homemakercity.com.au. Retrieved 15 August 2012
  11. ^ Charlmers, Emma. "40km/h limit for CBD streets", Courier Mail, 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2007-09-05
  12. ^ "Fortitude Valley - Brisbane Tourist Guide". Brisbane Australia. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Club Roll of Honour". The History of COMMERCIAL SWIMMING CLUB Inc from 1903. Commercial Swimming Club. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Fortitude Valley Child Health Centre (entry 4173)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  15. ^ "Credit Union Australia Building (entry 14855)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  16. ^ "All Hallows Convent and School (entry 14975)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Fortitude Valley Post Office (former) (entry 14973)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  18. ^ "Doggetts Cottage (entry 15033)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  19. ^ "Story Bridge (entry 15015)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Austral Motors Building (former) (entry 19627)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Fortitude Valley State School (former) (entry 16872)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  22. ^ "Gregory Place & Gregory Hall (entry 14979)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  23. ^ "Fortitude Valley Police Station (entry 15935)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  24. ^ "Holy Trinity Church (entry 14977)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  25. ^ "Holy Trinity Parish Hall (entry 14978)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  26. ^ "Holy Trinity Rectory (entry 14976)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  27. ^ "Royal George Hotel and Ruddle's Building (entry 16012)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  28. ^ "Empire Hotel (entry 14974)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  29. ^ "Corbett and Son Store (former) (entry 15797)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  30. ^ "Potters Gallery (entry 14981)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  31. ^ "La Scala (entry 14982)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  32. ^ "TC Beirne Complex and Fortuneland Centre (entry 16158)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  33. ^ "Holy Name Cathedral Site (entry 14983)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  34. ^ "Bulolo Flats (entry 17008)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  35. ^ "St Patricks Church (entry 14985)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  36. ^ "Villa Maria Hostel (entry 16665)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  37. ^ "Jubilee Hotel (entry 14986)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  38. ^ "Drill Shed, Caretaker's Cottage and Orderly Room (former), Water Street (entry 32294)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  39. ^ "McWhirters Marketplace (entry 14989)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  40. ^ "Centenary Place (entry 19564)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  41. ^ "Prince Consort Hotel (entry 14987)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  42. ^ "Wickham Hotel (entry 14988)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°27′23″S 153°02′04″E / 27.4565°S 153.0345°E / -27.4565; 153.0345