During the Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian) sandstones and siltstones were deposited in the epicontinental Larapintine Sea, which covered large parts of central Australia. The Darriwilian Stairway Sandstone has, for the first time, been sampled stratigraphically for macrofossils to track marine benthic biodiversity in this clastic-dominated shallow-water palaeoenvironment situated along the margin of northeastern Gondwana. The faunas from the Stairway Sandstone are generally of low diversity and dominated by bivalves but include several animal groups, with trilobites representing 25% of the entire shelly fauna. Thirteen trilobite taxa are described from the Stairway Sandstone; the fauna displays a high degree of endemism. One new species, Basilicus (Parabasilicus) brumbyensis sp. nov. is described.