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50 million year-old fossils found in Geebung

16 July, 2013

50 million year-old fossils found in Geebung

Fifty million year-old fossils have been discovered during construction works for the Robinson Road Open Level Crossing Replacement Project in Geebung.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the fascinating discovery was made last month during excavation works for the bridge piles, near Geebung Rail Station.

“The fossils were found amongst spoil which a piling rig had brought up to the surface from around 15 metres under the ground,” Cr Quirk said.

“The fossils are contained within a layer of oil shale which is estimated to be from approximately 50 million years ago.

“The bones have been identified as from ancient crocodiles, as well as other significant material including fish, freshwater shells and plant impressions.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said project engineers were now liaising with the University of Queensland and the geosciences team at the Queensland Museum regarding the discovery.

“Both parties are examining material that is associated with this find. The fossils will provide a valuable opportunity for more detailed studies,” Minister Emerson said.

“They are of course also interested in retrieving any other fossils that may be located in the vicinity of this one.”

Queensland Museum Network CEO Professor Suzanne Miller said the find was a significant one for Brisbane and Queensland.

“This site is particularly significant because very few sites of this age are available for study, as similar-aged sites in the greater Brisbane area are often no longer accessible due to housing and urban development,” Professor Miller said.

“The construction works have fortuitously provided access to a new locality that was not previously known to palaeontologists.”

The discovery will not hinder progress on the Robinson Road Open Level Crossing Replacement Project, ensuring the upgrade stays on track to remove the crossing by late 2014.

The Geebung Overpass (GO) Alliance, responsible for designing and constructing the project, has now commenced construction works.

Jointly funded by Council and the Queensland Government, the $199 million Robinson Road project will involve constructing an overpass over the rail line, connecting Robinson Road West and Robinson Road East, with new signalised intersections.

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