Preserving Sydney’s port heritage
One of Australia’s oldest lighthouses and the historic Glebe Island Silos are among more than 40 buildings and items which have been added to the State’s Heritage Register, Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said
“As the custodian of Australia’s oldest working harbour, Sydney Ports Corporation is ensuring our rich and colourful port and maritime heritage is preserved for future generations,” the Minister said.
“Under the State’s Heritage Act, all Government Authorities are required to establish and maintain a register which details every item of environmental and heritage value the agency owns or occupies.”
Mr Tripodi said Sydney Port’s heritage register was endorsed at a recent meeting of the Heritage Council of NSW and contains 41 entries including the Moore’s Wharf building, the Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal and various harbour lighthouses.
“One example of our port heritage is the Hornby Lighthouse at Watsons Bay which is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in Australia.
“Built in 1858, the Hornby Lighthouse remains an important component of the harbour’s lighthouse system which to this day ensures safe navigation in the Port of Sydney.”
Another building to make the register is the Glebe Island Silos which were built in the 1920’s.
“Glebe Island was the first and most important of the port terminals. The silos were instrumental in the development of the Australian grain storage and shipment industry,” Mr Tripodi said.
The latest additions to the State’s list of maritime and port heritage items have been welcomed by the Heritage Council of NSW and the National Trust of Australia.
Trust (NSW) executive director John Neish said the register would help ensure the recognition and future management of the port’s heritage assets.
“Australia is a country that was totally reliant on shipping until the 1950s and consequently the heritage of our ports and harbours is a key element of our National Identity,” Mr Neish said.
Other heritage items on the Sydney Ports’ list include an automatic tide gauge which was first installed at Fort Denison in 1866, and a sixty year old work boat known as the Crane Lighter “Poolya”.
“An entry of ‘local’ significance is the Moore’s Wharf building at Miller’s Point which was built in the late 1830’s using local sandstone and remains in operation today as an active base for Sydney Ports’ harbour operations,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Moore’s Wharf was the site of Sydney’s first shipment of Australian gold to England, with the clipper ‘Phoenician’ departing our shores in 1851.”
Mr Tripodi said heritage listing ensured a building can only be demolished subject to the preparation of a thorough heritage impact assessment.
In addition, any major works proposed for buildings on the State Heritage Register must be assessed and approved by the Heritage Office.