Augustine Heights fossil site under Queensland Museum microscope

FOSSILS dating from about 50 million years ago found in the Ipswich suburb of Augustine Heights and which attracted attention of palaeontologists and geologists in 1930s are now the focus of renewed interest from the Queensland Museum.

Many fossil sites in the region had been lost to development but the museum expressed its support for Ipswich City Council’s vision some years ago to protect the area as a conservation estate.

Environment and Conservation Committee chairperson Cr Kerry Silver said the fossil site was recognised as an important scientific location listed on both the state and federal heritage registers.

“Fauna and flora fossils uncovered include turtles, freshwater fish and lungfish, insects and rainforest flora.

“The museum hold the key fossils described as being from the Jones Road site and acquired additional material over the years, including some from the University of Queensland and Geological Survey of Queensland.

“The Queensland Museum is now proceeding to fully curate the collections.

“Council has granted the museum permission for full access to the site in order for it start work on a long-term project to complete an audit of the Jones Road collection.

“The multiple aims of the project are to re-examine the entire collection, update records, to establish geo-reference data is correct and confirm identifications are also correct.

“The museum hopes to better understand where these specimens were collected,” Cr Silver said.

Emeritus Professor Alan Rix from the University of Queensland has had a long term interest in and involvement with the site and will play a key role in overseeing research on this project.

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