Food security for Australia during war time was a major concern and the establishment of PWCC in Queensland aimed to provide workers for farmers across a number of primary industries. The program was operational from October 1943 through to February 1946 and placed up to 1300 Italian prisoners of war in south east Queensland. With the addition of up to 250 Italians employed at Q6 PW Hostel Home Hill, the total approved allocation of Italian Prisoners of War to Queensland was 1550.
The Department of Labour and National Service during this period adjusted allocations per centre to take in to account seasonal fluctuations and increased demand. Within a 10 month time frame from October 1943 to August 1944, 9 PWCC had been established, 1 PWCC had been disbanded and 1 PWC Hostel had been established. By 3 January 1945, 1150 Italian prisoners of war were working in primary industries in Queensland.
Q1 was approved by 13 September 1943 with an allocation of 150 workers and approved employers selected by October 1943.
Q2 began operation in February 1944 with an allocation of 100 workers.
Q3 placed the first of its 100 POWs from 4 March 1944 with men being placed with farmers at Calico Creek.
Q4 was approved but its temporary abandonment (it had not been set up) was approved March 1944. It was eventually established with its first allocation of 100 POW workers from 6 July 1944.
Q5 employed its first POWs from 6 March 1944 and POWs worked in the district through March to July.
Q6 Home Hill Hostel
Q6 was approved with a placement of 250 POWs. The first 115 POWs arrived 28 April 1944 with another 136 POWs marching in on 18 September 1944.
An adjunct to Q6 was the establishment of temporary PWCC Atherton. It was established at Atherton for an 8 week harvesting season of the maize crop in the area. An allocation of 60 was granted but only 53 POWs were sent from Q6 Home Hill arriving 3 July 1945 and being allocated to farmers by 4 July 1945.
Q7 was approved in April 1944, the first of 100 POWs employed in this centre began work on 15 May 1944 when they were allocated to farmers in Maleny and Wootha. Q8
Q8 was authorised as a temporary PWCC with an initial allocation of 50 POWs employed in the harvesting of the peanut crop on 18 March 1944 but by 22 March 1944 the approval had been amended to up to 120. Furthermore, Q8 was approved to operate on a permanent basis 24 April 1944.
Q9 began operation 1 August 1944 with the first of its 100 POWs being placed with farmers on 4 August 1944.
Q10 was allocated 100 workers and the first POWs were employed from 10th July 44.