Homebush

The suburb of Homebush, in Sydney's west, is located 16 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. Homebush became a household name across in the world in the 1990s when it was chosen as the site of the main stadium and other venues that her built to host to 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Homebush was originally part of the area known Liberty Plains, which in the early years of the 19th century, was plagued by bushrangers who targetted travellers on the Sydney to Parramatta Road.

The Village of Homebush estate was a section of the Underwood Estate located to the south of the railway. The land had boundaries of The Crescent, Homebush, Beresford, Coventry and Bridge Roads, was subdivided in 1878.

The suburb of Homebush West was originally part of the area known Liberty Plains, but was called Flemington by John Fleming, who was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) here in 1806. The bush was turned into paddocks and later was the site of a cattle saleyard. In the early 1970s, the Sydney Markets were built at Flemington to relieve the Paddy's Markets at Haymarket, in the city. Since the establishment of Sydney Markets at Flemington in 1975, the residential part of the suburb, south of the railway line became known as Homebush West.

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Bicentennial Parklands


For years Homebush Bay had been an industrial wasteland avoided by locals looking for a place to relax. The whole area was rejuvenated after part of the area was chosen as the main site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. One of the redevelopment projects was the establishment of this park at the head of Homebush Bay where the area's first water supplies, Powells Creek and Haslams Creek, entered the Parramatta River. Once used for the dumping of rubbish, the land on which the park was created has been turned into an attractive urban oasis. Sydney's newest urban parkland, it features lawns, ponds and recreational facilities alongside a tract of natural vegetation that includes a series of boardwalks through a natural stand of mangroves. Bicentennial Park is now part of the Sydney Olympic Park Millennium Parklands.
Millenium Parklands


430 ha of parklands containing remediated lands; remnant woodlands; fresh and saltwater wetlands and areas of cultural heritage. Originally extensive tidal wetlands, its uses during and since colonial times included sheep and cattle grazing, the State Abbatoir, chemical industries, a brickworks and the Royal Australian Navy Armarments Depot. Sydney's winning bid for the 2000 Olympic Games gave a boost to the remediation process for the Homebush Bay environs. Free entry.
Facilities: picnic and barbecue facilities, grassed areas, tea house, childrens playgrounds, cycle tracks, bird watching hides.

Arnott's Biscuits


The Arnotts Biscuit Factory operated at Homebush from 1908 to 1997, when it was relocated to Huntingwood. However, the administrative offices of Arnotts are still located in Homebush. Arnott's Biscuits were originally established in Newcastle. The first Sydney factory was opened at Forest Lodge in 1894. In 1905, the Arnott family wanting to expand, decided that a larger factory was required. Requiring access to the railway for transportation, the Arnott s purchased a six and half acre site at Homebush in 1906. The factory was designed by architect Charles Slatyer and built in 1907.

The site was known as 'Arnott s Folly' as it was considered too far from the City to attract workers. However, the Homebush factory which opened in 1908 was eventually the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and exported biscuits from Homebush to the rest of the world. Many members of the Arnott's factory lived nearby in Strathfield. The Arnott's Sign on the overhead railway bridge crosses Parramatta Road and is located close to the former Arnott s Biscuit Factory at Homebush. The bridge is still there today as is the Arnott's Sign.
Homebush Bay

Homebush Bay is located 16 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district on the Parramatta River. The bay has natural and artificial shoreline on the southern side of the Parramatta River between the former suburb of Homebush Bay and the suburb of Rhodes. In the 20th century, Homebush Bay became a centre of heavy industry, with large scale land reclamations to accommodate industrial facilities. When industrial operations scaled down, the bay became a dumping ground for a large range of unwanted material - from waste to broken up ships, even toxic industrial waste. Union Carbide had manufactured chemicals, including Agent Orange, on the site and dioxins produced as a by product were buried in landfill or left in drums.

A drive to regenerate and rehabilitate the bay began in the 1980s. This led to the construction of Bicentennial Park, including a program to regenerate some of the mangrove wetlands and saltmarshes which existed around the bay pre-development. In preparation for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it was decided to site Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay, which spurred the further regeneration and rehabilitation of the bay. A range of residential and commercial developments also began around the bay, including the development of a large shopping centre and residential district at Rhodes on the eastern shore.

Homebush Bay Ships' Graveyard


During the mid 20th century, Homebush Bay was used as a scuttling yard and became the resting place of a number of small vessels which had travelled the up and down the coast of New South Wales. The hulks of the following vessels remain and can be seen from the path to the Wildlife Refuge.

Ayrfield: The Ayrfield was a steel single screw steam collier, 1140 tons, by the Grangemouth Dockyard Company, United Kingdom in 1911 and launched as ss Corrimal. Once used by the Commonwealth Government to transport supplies to American troops in the Pacific, it was sold in 1950 and renamed Ayrfield in 1951. From this time it operated as a collier on the sixty-miler run between Newcastle and Sydney. The vessel was partially broken up at Homebush Bay in October 1972.

Heroic: A steel tugboat built at South Shields, United Kingdom in??- 1909, Heroic was built for Thomas Fenwick of Sydney, and at one stage, towed an ex-French three-masted warship Eure to Sydney from Numea for breaking-up in 1911. Commandeered by the British Admiralty during World War One, it was renamed Epic and under that name was engaged in rescue work off the Scilly Isles. In 1919, it was back in home waters when its crew rescued the freighter Allara when torpedoed off Sydney during World War Two. The Heroic was hulked at Homebush Bay in 1973, and its remains lie in Homebush Bay.

HMAS Karangi: A steel boom defence vessel of 971 tons, HMAS Karangi was built at the Cockatoo Island shipyards in Sydney Harbour NSW in 1941. Modelled on the British "Bar Class" of boom defence vessels, the Karangi had sister ships Kangaroo and Koala. Karangi assisted in l??naying the defenses of Darwin and was involved in repelling the Japanese attack on Darwin in 1942 as well as the Monte Bello Islands atomic tests of 1952. Partially scrapped in 1965-6, the vessel was later abandoned in Homebush Bay, however there is some conjecture whether the Homebush Bay remains are indeed Karangi, or possibly Kookaburra or Kangaroo.

Mortdale Banki: A steel single screw steam collier built at Walsend-on-Tyne, United Kingdom in 1924, the Mortlake Bank was bought by a Melbourne company in 1934 and operated on the famous sixty-miler route between Hexham and Mortlake for the Australian Gas Light Company. The Mortlake Bank rests today in the shallow waters of Homebush Bay, having been abandoned in the bay awaiting cutting up for scrap at the breakers yard in October 1972.
History of Homebush

When Capt. John Hunter and Lieut. William Bradley first explored the Parramatta River early in February 1788, Homebush Bay was charted and recorded but not named. Ten days later Governor Phillip accompanied the next expedition. The party landed on the western shore of the bay and walked south-west to about where Granville is now located. The first land grant at Homebush Bay was issued in 1797 to a shepherd, Samuel Haslam after whom Haslams Creek was named. Many of the Olympic venues are between these two creeks. It also covers the areas once occupied by landholders Capt. Henry Waterhouse, John and Gregory Blaxland and D'Arcy Wentworth and his eldest son, William Charles Wentworth. It was named after the land grant of Captain Laycock, which he called his home in the bush.

Homebush was established in the 1800s by the colony's assistant surgeon D'arcy Wentworth. According to local government historian Michael Jones, "Wentworth is popularly credited with having called the area after his 'home in the bush', although Homebush is also a place in Kent." The first name of settlement at what is today called Homebush was Liberty Plains. This was a group of grants given to the Colony's first free settlers, who came on the ship "Bellona", in 1793. Most of the original settlers soon departed for agriculturally more attractive places, like the Hawkesbury. One of them, Edward Powell, later returned and established there the Half Way House Inn, on Parramatta Road just west of the creek that now bears his name. Later, when the Great Western Railway line came through there, with a station just behind Powell's inn, the name Homebush was borrowed from the nearest large estate, that of D'Arcy Wentworth. A shopping centre by the name of Homebush has since grown around the railway station of that name. There also used to be a Ford factory in Homebush, which manurfactured the Telstar and the Laser, but the factory closed in 1994.





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