Monday, 9 February 2015

1969: The original Port Botany Scheme

During the 1950's and 1960's there were dramatic changes to the way cargo was being transported globally. Cargo was being transported in containers and large cargo ships. Sydney Harbour's port facilities were going to be unable to cope. Hence a second port was needed. During the 1960's, the NSW Government under Robert Askin chose the northern shores of Botany Bay to build a second port for Sydney.

This is the original scheme that was planned for Port Botany, which is vastly different to what we have now.  The Airport and Port would have actually been attached to each other. There was also provision for a parallel runway at Sydney Airport to be completed by 1975 but was not built until 1994.

Stage One commenced construction in 1971 and was completed by the end of 1979.

  Port Botany march 19 1969 daily telegraph 3

Source: Anonymous. 1969. "2nd Port for Sydney." The Daily Telegraph, March 19, 3 

Stages two, three and four were not built, though an expansion of the port in the late 2000's encompassed areas that would have been used for stages two and three. Dredging and reclamation works were completed in 2011, with the port gaining another 45 hectares for shipping activities. The new terminal was officially opened in July last year and is operated by Hutchinson Ports Australia.

The new terminal had to be built around the Penulyn Estuary in order to preserve it. Given the environmental issues associated with construction of the port, it is unlikely that we will see any further port expansion in Botany Bay. There has been the push to increase cargo movements in Newcastle and Port Kembla and transport it via rail to Sydney.

IMG_4332
Port Botany in 2014.
Photo taken by the Author. 

Also since the 1970's what was to be the second port for Sydney became the city's first port as cargo terminals in Sydney Harbour were gradually closed, starting with Darling Harbour in the 1980's, East Darling Harbour (Barangaroo) was closed in stages from the 1990's until 2007 while White Bay and Glebe Island were closed in 2008.

I notice as well that there was a plan for a road link from Southern Cross Drive at Mascot to transport traffic directly to Port Botany. That did not get built.