The Great Depression in Gladstone

By Betty Laver

The Great Depression in Gladstone

After WW1, Gladstone found the 1920’s the hard years leading up to the great depression. Both the beef and dairy industries struggled throughout this decade, with low prices and the devastating 1925-6 drought taking their toll. The population of Gladstone only just exceeded 2000, only 500 more than the 1890’s. Lifestyle was affected very little, as a lot of the population were descendants of the original pioneers. Many lived at Parsons Point in simple cottages that were rent free, and all were self-sufficient with a vegetable garden, chooks, goats and perhaps a pig or two. Most supplemented their diet with the marine life from the harbour. Construction began on the Many Peaks to Monto rail link connecting the Burnett region. This line again brought much work to the local region and opened more of the country area. This line finally reached the destination of Monto in 1931. Two excursion trains ran day returns to Monto to celebrate the occasion.