Monday, 27 June 2016

1963: First live major TV News Event Broadcast between Sydney and Melbourne

On Saturday the entire nation is off to the polls. Recently, I came across advertisements from TCN9 which were published in The Daily Telegraph to promote its election coverage for the 1963 Federal Election.

The Coaxial Cable was actually switched on between Sydney and Melbourne in April 1962. This allowed for live transmission of television programs between the two cities and Canberra and could carry telecommunications traffic. In the first year, it generally relayed sporting events between the cities.

In November 1963, Australia went to the polls. The National Television Network (comprising of TCN9 Sydney and GTV9 Melbourne) was owned by Sir Frank Packer. He had entered into a two-year lease of one hundred thousand pounds a year.

Election Day was November 30, 1963, just seven days after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in Dallas. As part of election coverage, the first major broadcast of a news event across major Australia cities occurred, drawing on the coaxial link. TCN9 published these advertisements to promote the landmark coverage.




1.  TCN-9. 1963. "TCN 9 Electoral Telecast Map Viewing Area" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, November 29: 8

2.  TCN-9. 1963. "TCN 9 Electoral Telecast Map Metropolitan Area" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, November 30: 8

Coverage would be anchored from the TCN9 studios at Willoughby with live crosses to the GTV9 studios in Melbourne, Canberra and The Sunday Telegraph Newsroom in Park Street, Sydney. Here is advertising material sourced from The Daily Telegraph in relation to its election broadcast. TCN9's viewing area stretched well beyond the boundaries that it is allowed to transmit into. Those in Newcastle, Wollongong and the Southern Highlands could also receive the broadcast.

It would set a precedent for the way we watched television. Programming could be instantly relayed from city to city. No longer would there be delays in having to wait for shows aired in other capital cities. A show recorded in Sydney could be relayed to Melbourne at the same time and vice versa. Programming in Australia tends to follow a common schedule these days.

Source: Southern Star (Firm) & John Edwards Production & National Nine Network (Australia). 2013. Power games : the Packer-Murdoch story.  

The mini-series Power Games (2013) takes a look at that election coverage from TCN9, though you might not want to take what you see seriously, especially Alan Reid's announcement that Menzies was back in power at 8:35pm, only 35 minutes after the close of polls.  In the film, Sir Frank Packer tells his son Clyde to "Sack the Computer" which had been bought in to predict the result. The computer itself was also a key feature in the promotion broadcast in order to predict the winner.

I also noticed that the front page of The Sunday Telegraph (December 1, 1963) was actually read out by Reid in the film. Need confirmation if Reid did actually say it. I may contact Channel Nine to follow up.

The way we watched news changed as a result because Australians could be informed of events happening across the country in real time and that information could be relayed instantly. It reflected the changing landscape in the relay of news in the 1960s as Satellites placed into orbit around the Earth, allowing events to be transmitted from one part of the world to another. The assassination of JFK one week earlier showed that.

And finally, it is believed (by some) that Sir Frank Packer decided to cause a fault in the coaxial cable in July 1964, so young media baron Rupert Murdoch could not relay the pages for the first edition of The Australian Newspaper from Canberra to Sydney. He had to fly the plates to Sydney for printing, which he managed to do despite heavy fog in Canberra.

For the record, Sir Robert Menzies Liberal/Country Coalition won the election with an increased majority winning 72 seats out of 122 seats. This was 10 seats more than in 1961. There was no Senate election in 1963.

There will be wall to wall coverage this Saturday on Channel Nine along with is competition at ATN7 (Seven Network ), ABC & Sky News. Yours truly won't be watching as he has to count the votes at a booth in southern Sydney and the networks will be dependent on me for the results.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Property Advert of the Week: The Claridge Kings Cross (1966)

In 1966, one bedroom and studio apartments were for sale in The Claridge at Kings Cross for $8950. According to the RBA Inflation Calculator, the apartments would have cost just $112 000 in todays money. Today they go for about $400 000.

61 Bayswater Road Kings Cross February 24 1966 daily telegraph 24

Source: Parkes Developments. 1966. "Kings Cross Studio Home Units" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, February 12: 24.

Monday, 20 June 2016

2005: The World Square Retail Complex is completed (Evolution of World Square)

Apart from the completion of Latitude (680 George Street) in 2005 (as covered last week), 2005 also saw the completion of the long promised retail complex, The complex contains 90 retailers, anchored by Coles. Jb Hifi would join several years later as a major retailer. In the middle of the complex is a town square. Another notable feature is a laneway that runs from the town square to Liverpool Street, home to a speciality food court. While it may have not been as grand as what earlier plans had suggested, it does provide city residents and workers with the "essentials" that may not be found in other parts of the CBD. For instance, Coles had decided to open its first full line CBD supermarket there, and has actually encouraged the opening of more full line supermarkets in central Sydney.

Here are some photos I took from when it opened back in June 2005.

Due to the Federal Election next week, my posting will be election-themed but it does tie into something significant in terms of the city's development as well. The following week, our final entry in the series will be published and will focus on what is now the ATO Building at the corner of Goulburn and Pitt Street.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Cambridge Park House and Land Packages (1967)

This week's property advertisement dates back to 1967. Camillo Constructions had new homes for sale in Cambridge Park around College Street and Cambridge Street. I've included a link to the area today. £4950 ($9900) was all you needed to pay for your home. According to the RBA Inflation Calculator, this comes to around $120 000 in today's money. Cheap as chips.

Note: The advertiser was permitted to advertise in pounds as there was a two year transition period to Decimal Currency from February 14 1966. 

Camillo Construction Homes Ad May 6 1967 daily telegraph 30

Source: Camillo Constructions Pty. Ltd. 1967. Untitled (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, May 6: 30.

Monday, 13 June 2016

2005: Latitude Tower is completed (Evolution of World Square)

Less than two years after work started on the construction of World Square, we finally saw work at 680 George Street. I actually remember with excitement as Year 11 student to see moving cranes and construction.

By the time work had resumed, it was the 20th hole in the ground from the 1990-91 Property Crash to be filled. The first sod was turned on November 13, 2002, by Lord Mayor Frank Sartor. From what I am aware, plans to build the tower in its current form had been around for 18 months.

I am going to let the photos do the talking this week with a selection of photos over its two years of construction.

November 2002

January 2003

May 2003

July 2003

October 2003

November 2003

January 2004

March 2004

May 2004

August 2004

2005 (Upon Completion)

When completed, the main tenant would be Ernst & Young who would remain there until the recent completion of 200 George Street.

Next week, we continue our series focusing on the completion of the retail complex.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Property Advert of the Week: John L Nichols Land Sales Advertisement (1966)

This week, I share an advertisement from 1966 by John L Nichols & Co promoting land sales in various suburbs around Sydney. They all happen to be our middle ring suburbs today.

John L Nichols Ad February 12 1966 daily telegraph 45

Source: John L. Nichols & Co Pty. Ltd. Untitled (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph: February 12: 43. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

2000: Meriton unveils World Tower (Evolution of World Square)

World Tower
The photo was taken by the Author.
Last week, we looked at Hordern Towers and this week we move onto the next phase in the development of World Square.

2000 was a big year for Sydney, but also for Meriton Apartments when they announced plans to build what is currently Sydney's tallest skyscraper - World Tower. Only a year earlier, they had snapped up the "prized" quarter of the site at the corner of George and Liverpool Street's where they could build to the maximum height limit of 235 metres. The tallest tower under the Kenzo Tange scheme would have been located there if they built it.

Source: Skelsey, M. 2000. "Sydney's new town in the sky". The Daily Telegraph, March 8: page unknown.

Late in 1999, architects were invited to design the tower. Three were shortlisted which were:

1. Nation Fender Katsailidis
2. Harry Seidler & Associates
3. Peddle Thorp Walker

In March 200, the design of Nation Fender Katsailidis was announced as the winner.

Construction commenced towards the end of 2000, following the Olympic games. Occupation of the lower floors of the tower began in late 2003 while the upper levels were being built. Below is a selection of photos from its construction which I started taking in mid-2002.

July 2002

November 2002

December 2002

January 2003

May 2003

June 2003

October 2003

November 2003

January 2004

April 2004

The tower rises 74 levels or 230 metres above street level, however, floors are marked from the lowest basement level, not the ground floor. You might think for instance that your apartment is on level 76, but really you are 66 levels above ground.

World Tower is predominantly residential, though some units are managed as serviced units. At completion, levels 61 and above were entirely serviced apartments and were only placed on the market several years ago. Levels 83 and 84 contain a penthouse, which is owned by who is now Australia's richest person - Meriton's Harry Triguboff.

Next week, we will look at 680 George Street where we find out its fate.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Property Advert of the Week: The Georgia (1998)

This week, I share a 1998 advertisement for The Georgia in Kent Street near Observatory Hill.

The Georgia Ad SMH May 2 1998 22RE

Source: Colliers Jardine. 1998. "discover heaven" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, May 2: 22RE (Real Estate Liftout).