Greensill's slab cottage at Kobble Creek, ca. 1900
Greensill's slab cottage at Kobble Creek, ca. 1900

The selections varied greatly in size but were usually areas of from 20 to 160 acres, depending on the quality of the land. Annual rents, from as little as 2/6 per acre for pastoral land and 3/9 per acre for agricultural land, were paid over a five to ten year period. A residential clause in the sale agreement, which required the selector to live on the property for at least six months of the year, deterred land speculators and the restless. After the initial period of occupation, if all outstanding rent had been paid and basic improvements had been completed, a land title was issued to the selector.

This liberal land legislation permitted many of the pioneering families of the Pine Rivers Shire, even those with very limited financial resources, to commence farming. Although the first land-holders were predominantly English, Scottish and Irish immigrant families, there was a large influx of German immigrants from the mid 1860s to the 1890s.

Initially, conditions on the selections were harsh and primitive as most selectors lived in humpies and relied on the unpaid labour of their families to keep going. The selectors found at least two answers to the problem of how to survive on their new possessions. The first was to exploit the plentiful timbers growing on their land and on the ranges above; the other lay in farming. While there was some farming of crops such as sugar, corn, bananas, pineapples, fodder plants and various vegetables, dairy production eventually emerged as the principal production of the Shire.

Used in: