Brisbane (brĭzˈbən) [key], city (1991 pop. 1,145,537), capital of Queensland, E Australia, on the Brisbane River above its mouth on Moreton Bay. Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and an administrative, commercial, industrial, and cultural center. It has shipyards, oil refineries, food-processing plants, textile mills, automobile and telecommunications plants, and railroad workshops, but in recent years tourism and commercial expansion have dominated the city's development. Extensive suburban growth has accompanied the city's rapid increase in population.
The area was settled in 1824 as a penal colony, and the city was named in 1834 for Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales. In 1925 the Greater Brisbane Act unified the administration of 19 formerly separate localities. The city and its suburbs have at times experienced significant flooding, most devastatingly in 1974 and 2011. Brisbane is the seat of the Univ. of Queensland (1909) and other universities, several art and other museums, and a performing arts complex.