Goat Island | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Goat Island

Item details

Name of item: Goat Island
Other name/s: Me-Mel (the eye)
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Landscape - Cultural
Category: Other - Landscape - Cultural
Location: Lat: -33.8521191727 Long: 151.1965523870
Primary address: , Port Jackson, NSW
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Unincorporated Waterway
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT3 DP837195
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 Port JacksonUnincorporated Waterway CumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Office of Environment and HeritageState Government26 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

The Colonial Magazine is historically significant as probably the oldest surviving magazine built to store merchant's powder in Australia, evidence of the growing need for storage of privately owned gunpowder in the expanding colony of New South Wales. It has historical associations with its designers, Colonial Architects Edmund Blacket and Alexander Dawson, and despite the loss of original structural arrangement retains some ability to demonstrate its former use as a magazine facility for the storage of gunpowder. The building also has some historical significance as part of the shipbuilding establishment on Goat Island since 1925. The building is aesthetically significant mainly for the technical innovation of its design which departed from the military standard typified by the adjacent Queen's Magazine. The Colonial Magazine is also technically significant for the surviving evidence of its construction and use, and for the archaeological evidence likely to be present beneath and around the building. (Phillips 2000: 53)
Date significance updated: 24 Mar 00
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Edmund Blackett, Alexander Dawson (Colonial Magazine)
Construction years: 1826-1994
Physical description: Goat Island is located in Sydney Harbour, west of the Harbour Bridge between McMahons Point and Balmain. Goat Island is a prominent island in Sydney Harbour. There is little vegetation on the island.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Condition of fabric varies from good to poor. Some of the metal in roofs and cranes such as the hammerhead crane is rusting. White ants have attacked some of the timber structures.

The archaeological potential of Goat Island is high. Archaeological inv
Date condition updated:14 Dec 00
Modifications and dates: Considerable modifications have been made to many of the structures.
Further information: Many of structures are not in original condition and have been altered or have had major additions added in accordance with the needs of the various occupying authorities.
Current use: interpretation and education
Former use: gunpowder storage, boat building and maintenance, Arseenal/ Magazine, accommodation, bacteriology station

History

Historical notes: Kwown firstly as Me-Mel, or the eye, this island is the centre of a constellation of green harbour headlands and islands and, as an easy 500 meter paddle from the mainland, was used often by Indigenous people. The island was the birthplace of Bennelong, the Eora elder who served as intermediary between English settlers and Aboriginal populations. Colonial Sydney's judge-advocate David Collins noted the example of the island with some surprise as a demonstration of an Aboriginal system of real estate. In a 1798 account of Sydney he quoted 'Ben-nil-long' as describing the island as his inheritance and a place where he and his wife 'Ba-rang-a-roo' often feasted and relaxed. 'To this little spot he appeared much attached' wrote Collins (Sydney Morning Herald, 18/10/2016, 10).

Goat Island has been in continuous use by various government bodies since 1831. Although suggestions had been made as early as 1826 by Governor Darling to utilise convict labour to construct a naval arsenal there, its first use was as a quarry in May 1831 under the direction of the Department of Public Works. Quarrying ceased after protests from Mitchell who had been directed to consider the island and neighbouring shore for defence purposes.

By the early 1830s increasing amounts of gunpowder for public works were in storage in Sydney prompting Governor Bourke to implement Darling's proposal for the construction of an arsenal or magazine on Goat Island. Its convenient location, isolation from the centre of population, ability to be made secure and accessibility for large ships made it an obvious choice. The work was initially supervised by the Commissary, a committee or Board of Works and William Buchanan as Clerk of Works.

Construction began in January 1833 by ironed gangs from the hulk 'Phoenix', who began quarrying to level the ground. In 1834, three portable wooden houses surrounded by a stockade were erected on the island to avoid the loss of time involved in the daily ferrying of the convicts from the hulk. The work went slowly and in May 1835 the foundations were finally commenced. Newly arrived Commanding Royal Engineer George Barney took control of the construction in January 1836 and immediately instructed Thomas Bird to prepare plans of the buildings already underway. In his report to the Inspector General of Fortifications the following month he commented that the plan was defective but that work was so far advanced that work on the buildings would be completed by the end of 1836.

In August 1836 the Legislative Council passed an Act for better regulating the keeping and carriage of gunpowder. Among other things it made the Officers of Ordnance responsible for the custody of gunpowder.

Work was completed in January 1839. During construction, the magazine, cooperage, barrack and convict accommodation, wharf, stone walls, well or tank, garden, water channels, wet ditch and blacksmith's shop had been erected. Most of these structures are still extant.

In October 1835 the Committee on Police and Gaols recommended that the Water Police be relocated from Longnose Point to Goat Island. This was finally agreed to in January 1837 when Barney proposed the use of convict labour to construct a wet ditch across a small segment of Goat Island. Colonial Architect Mortimer William Lewis prepared a design for the proposed Water Police station which went to tender in June 1838.

The Ordnance or Queen's Magazine on Goat Island was intended to store gunpowder belonging to the British government and by arrangement that owned by the Colonial administration. As a safety measure, the Act William IV, No. 7 of 1836 decreed that privately imported gunpowder in the possession of merchants also had to be stored in government care, pending its use. The Colonial administration arranged that privately owned gunpowder be stored in the Queen's Magazine on Goat Island.

By 1847, the storage of privately owned gunpowder was causing a problem as it was taking up much of the storage space in the magazine. The problem was exacerbated by the 1840s depression which saw many of the private owners bankrupted. This left the Ordnance with a large amount of deteriorating gunpowder which in 1847 the Colonial Architect was requested to remove. The Colonial Secretary instead requested that the Ordnance permit the construction of a Colonial magazine on Goat Island which was refused. An acrimonious correspondence ensued.

The matter was resolved in 1850 when Colonial Architect Edmund Blacket was requested to prepare a plan and estimate for a merchants' gunpowder magazine on Goat Island. Blacket's design abandoned the conventional fireproof barrel vault with its massive walls in favour of a thin-skinned structure with a light roof substantially supported by, and tied to, the interior racking system with conventional windows and shutters at the gable ends. The design was criticised but the administration overruled the objections on the grounds that the design was economic and the construction period would be shorter than using a conventional design. Construction was completed in 1854.

The increase in mining and public works in the second half of the 1850s resulted in an increased demand for gunpowder, which again resulted in the inability of the magazines to cope with storage requirements. This necessitated in the hire of the brig Lady Mary as a temporary floating gunpowder magazine in 1856. In June 1859 it was decided to construct another magazine on Goat Island using Colonial Architect Alexander Dawson's 1856 plan. The design was similar to the Colonial magazine, but introduced an iron roof which again raised concern amongst military men. The magazine was completed in December 1859.

In 1861 the Colonial Secretary raised concerns that the quantity of gunpowder stored on Goat Island was sufficient to 'send half of Sydney to the other world.' A spectacular explosion in a small store of nitro-glycerine in Bridge Street in 1866 further added to this concern. The Water Police were removed from Goat Island in 1865 and the laboratory for cartridge preparation relocated to the Water Police area in 1866. The use of new blasting preparations such as gun-cotton, nitro-glycerine and lithofracteur at this time further exacerbated these concerns as gun-cotton and nitro-glycerine were more susceptible to accidental explosion. New storage facilities were required as far away from the gunpowder as possible. By 1875 a magazine was erected south-west of the cut, with another to follow by 1878. The laboratory again had to be relocated.

In 1875 the Storage of Gunpowder Board raised concerns with the somewhat casual attitude of safety and security on Goat Island and recommended that the merchants gunpowder be removed. From the 1870s - 1890s considerable alterations and additions were made to structures on Goat Island. Little physical evidence of this work survives.

The outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900 resulted in the hasty removal of personnel and explosives from Goat Island and its conversion to a bacteriology station by the NSW Health Department where serums were prepared and testing conducted for the diagnosis of plague. The land west of the cut was vested in the Governor of NSW.

In 1901 the island was vested in the newly formed Sydney Harbour Trust who had acquired responsibility for Sydney Harbour. The Trust used Goat Island as a depot constructing wharves, berthing facilities, coal-store, 4 cottages, Harbour Masters Residence and workshop as well as making major alterations and additions to the former barrack and cook house. Between 1925 and 1931 the Trust developed a shipyard which consisted of spillways, installation of cranes, rail system and conversion of the Expense Magazine and Colonial Magazine.

The Trust was replaced in 1936 by the creation of the Maritime Services Board which had expanded responsibilities encompassing the entire state. Goat Island was the home of the Board's Fire Brigade during the war and accommodated 26 men and the families of several of the married men. Plans for a community hall were drawn in 1941 and shark-proof swimming baths was erected. Tennis courts had been erected earlier - possibility in 1937.

During the 1940s and 1950s construction of wharf, storage and shipyard facilities were carried out. The island was also a popular centre of social activities such as tennis and dances during this time.

In May 1994 administrative control of Goat Island was transferred to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for incorporation into Sydney Harbour National Park. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)'s Sydney Harbour Islands sub-district office is now located on Goat Island.

In October 2016 the state government announced its intention to return Goat Island to Aboriginal hands. Premier Mike Baird said 'Goat Island has enormous cultural heritage significance for Aboriginal people. We are committed to ensuring Aboriginal leadership in management and decision-making for the sustainable use of Goat Island.' The government has taken its first steps to transfer management and ownership of the island to its traditional owners. The Premier will establish a working group to investigate means of transferring management while continuing existing operations on the island, protecting its heritage and maintaining public access. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has long campaigned for the island's return. Former state MP Linda Burney's last question to Parliament before she left for federal politics was about returning ownership of the island. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said 'future opportunities (included) increasing public access and sharing cultural experiences' (SMH, 18/10/16, 10).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Topography: How did the environment, topography and the River influence early settlement? Is there a strong relationship-Peopling the Continent Contact
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Environment/Contact: What do we know of the Contact Environment?-Environment (Natural) Control
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Cultural - Coasts and coastal features supporting human activities-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. (none)-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Eora Nation - sites evidencing occupation-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Eora nation - places of contact with the colonisers-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Demonstrating convicts' experiences and activities-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Housing convicts in communal or shared accommodation-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working for the Crown-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working for the Crown-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Convict Stockade-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Significant Places How are significant places marked in the landscape by, or for, different groups-Monuments and Sites
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Sydney and Australian Landmark-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of cultural and natural interaction-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of urban amenity-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of passive recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of scenic beauty-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of industrial production-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of institutions - productive and ornamental-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Providing a venue for significant events-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Boat Building and Shipwrighting-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Quarrying-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Arsenal-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Defending the nation.-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Sydney's colonial settlement; Shipping-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Colonial government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing fire stations-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Open Space Provision-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. resumption for heritage conservation-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Public works-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - scientific research-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - scientific research-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - parks and open spaces-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Providing public offices and buildings-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - managing the convict system-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Campaigning for inclusion in political processes-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administering a public health system-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and operating public infrastructure-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Prison colony-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Policing and enforcing the law on the water-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Sanatoria-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Bacteriology station-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor concerts and performances-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor concerts and performances-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Tourism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going boating and sailing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting lookouts and places of natural beauty-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Rutherford, principal of Cobb and Co. and of Eskbank Iron Works-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lt.-Colonel (Captain) George Barney, soldier, colonial engineer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Barangaroo, Eora woman-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with David Collins, judge-advocate of the colony, 1790s-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Buchanan, Clerk of Works, Department of Public Works, 1830s-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Alexander Dawson, NSW Colonial Architect 1856-62-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Bird, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (later Adm.) Arthur Phillip, 1788-1792,-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edmund Blacket, Government Architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Mortimer Lewis, Colonial Architect, 1796-1879-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen., later Gnl., Sir) Ralph Darling and Eliza Darling, 1826-1830-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Bennelong, Eora Nation Aboriginal-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Goat Island is a harbour island which demonstrates all the phases of use and development from Precontact Aboriginal occupation to the present day. Its almost continuous use since the 1820s for a variety of activities related to the operational management of Sydney Harbour by various government agencies is significant as is its value as part of the historic landscape which now forms Sydney Harbour National Park. .

It is the site after 1833 of the first major facility for the storage of ordnance and explosives in both government and private hands. It is also the site of the first permanent establishment of the Water Police in Sydney Harbour. It has associations with Royal Engineer George Barney and Colonial Architect Edmund Blackett. Goat Island was also the emergency centre for bacteriological research during the 1900 outbreak of bubonic plague. After 1901 it was the shipyard and base for port management operations by the Sydney Harbour Trust and its successor the Maritime Services Board.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Goat Island is of considerable aesthetic significance. It is one of several prominent Sydney Harbour islands that contribute to the overall beauty and pattern of the harbour. It is visually prominent at the confluence of Port Jackson, Darling Harbour and the Parramatta River. The Queen's magazine's powerful architectural qualities are complemented by the unusual design of the contemporary stone cooperage, barrack buildings and perimeter walling. The use of sandstone and slate enhances the overall aesthetic qualities. The magazine's aesthetic qualities are further enhanced by the topographical setting on the south western edge of the island and by the curved alignment of the stone security wall. The variety, extent and pattern of wharves, is unusual in such a concentration and provides a rich visual interplay between the rhythm of the piles and the rocky foreshore.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Goat Island is of State, regional and local significance. It is an example of the State's response to the need to provide a safe storage facility and distribution point for both publicly (both Imperial and Colonial) and privately owned explosives. As an island isolated in Sydney Harbour, Goat Island during the Sydney Harbour Trust/ Maritime Services Board periods provided a place for accomodation, work, as a shipyard and operational depot and recreation for a variety of people for a period of over ninety years. It is of local significance for the people who lived and worked on the island and of regional significance for what it can tell us of the living conditions of the people who lived and worked on the island in the 20th century.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The research and historical archaeological potential of Goat Island are high. It has been continuously occupied since 1833. Its has the ability to demonstrate the layering of use and occupation over a period of 150 years, including those earlier facilities that were adapted for later functions. Surviving physical evidence can demonstrate the life styles and working conditions of a diverse range of occupants and staff on the island, during all phases of development from Pre-European to the late 20th century activities of the Maritime Services Board.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The architectural qualities of the early stone buildings on the island are remarkable and rare. The Queen's Magazine with its barrel vault, massive external buttressing and carefully detailed ventilation system, is the finest and earliest large powder ma
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The facilities on the island are representative of the maritime industrial activities that were once common around the inner harbour and the Parramatta River. The variety of cultural and landscape forms and plantings on the island are representative of t
Integrity/Intactness: Integrity and intactness is high. The structures retain enough of their original fabric to enable their form, function and interrelationships to be easily read and understood.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Ongoing maintainance and conservation in accordance with conservation plans.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementGoat Island Conservation Plan, prepared by Schwager Brooks Conservation Plan endorsed by Heritage Council 1 December 1994, expires 1 December 1999 Dec 1 1994
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementConservation Plan (overview document for the whole island: detailed element CMPs to follow) Overview CMP endorsed by the Heritage Council 21 March 2000 for a period of five years, expires 21 March 2005. Mar 21 2000
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0098902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Regional Environmental Plan  25 Mar 94   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Parks & Wildlife Service Section 170 Register  National Parks & Wildlife Service  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management Plan  Goat Island Conservation Policy and Management Plan
Management Plan  Goat Island draft conservation policy and management plan
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Goat Island View detail
WrittenBarwell, David2018'Island dream afloat: Exclusive: Hotel planned for Goat Island for indigenous cultural tourism'
WrittenBeebe, E., Bhatti, S., Drapela Midtbo, V., Kinsela, J and Smith, L.1997The Harbour Master's Residence: Goat Island, Sydney Harbour National Park. Conservation Plan Final Report, June 1997
WrittenBiskupic, S. and Wright, C.1993Report on the Goat Island Shipyard
WrittenGojak, D1996The Magazine Precinct at Goat Island: Archaeological and Architectural Investigations (Draft)
WrittenHeritage Council of NSW1990paper files S90/01920, S90/07167
WrittenHeritage Group State Projects DPWS1997Archaeological Investigation of the Drainage System Queen's Magazine Goat Island; Draft
WrittenJadwiga Mider, D1997Archaeological Assessment & research Design 1839 Barracks and Kitchen, Magazine Precinct. Goat Island
WrittenKerr, J.S.1985Goat Island: An analysis of documentary and physical evidence and an assessment of significance
WrittenNational Parks and Wildlife Service1993Goat Island Shipyard Precinct Conservation Plan: Draft Report
WrittenNational Parks and Wildlife Service1993Goat Island Hammerhead Crane Conservation Plan: Draft Report
Management PlanOrwell & Peter Phillips2000Colonial Magazine, Magazine Precinct, Goat Island, Conservation Management Plan
WrittenPaul Davies Pty Ltd2011Goat Island Conservation Management Plan Vol 1 View detail
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd1995Final Report Conservation Plan Residential Precinct Goat Island
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd1993Goat Island Conservation Plan: Draft Final Report
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd1993Goat Island Landscape Conservation Plan: Draft Report
WrittenSydney Living Museums2017Convict Sydney View detail
TourismTourism NSW2007Goat Island View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045143
File number: EF10/13488; 15/6978; 15/16551


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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