The offices of Navy were first established in Brisbane at the former Port Office at 39 Edward Street on the Brisbane River in 1886. The offices were designed as an administration and operational headquarters for the Queensland colonial navy. By the 1890s the condition of this building had deteriorated and in 1899 the Queensland government devoted 1500 pounds to the design and construction of a new naval building.
A site was selected for the new naval offices on the corner of Edward and Alice Streets facing the river, not far from the former Port Office building. The building was essentially complete and in use by August 1901, the first year of the Federation. It was used as the administrative headquarters of Queensland Marine Defence Force in the transition from colonial to Commonwealth defence. It was not, however, transferred over to Commonwealth ownership until 1911.
From the RAN’s formation in 1911 and across the span of two world wars, the Naval Offices in Brisbane served as a key naval administrative location. In 1975, with the rationalisation of defence properties, the building became redundant and was left unoccupied, but remained in Commonwealth ownership.
The building was returned to Queensland State Government ownership in 2011, and since 2012 has been leased to commercial operators. It is listed on the Queensland Government Heritage Register and the Commonwealth Heritage List.
Naval Offices (former), Brisbane, Queensland Government Heritage Register
Naval Offices, Australian Heritage Database
Origins of the QUEENSLAND Navy, by Naval Historical Society of Australia, published June 1975 edition of the Naval Historical Review
Developing Australian Naval Forces, by Walter Burroughs, published June 2011 edition of the Naval Historical Review