An additional $850,000 will be invested in ongoing restoration of the 143-year-old Carrington Hydraulic Engine House, Port of Newcastle announced today.

Built in 1877 and operating until 1967, the building housed the first large scale hydraulic power system to be established in Australia, providing power for the original coal loading cranes.

Work to restore the northern, eastern and western façades will commence this month, the port announced today at the re-opening of the site. It follows completion this year of a $1.2 million project to restore the southern façade of the heritage-listed sandstone and masonry building and create a new public plaza celebrating its significance and history.

The first phase of work was possible thanks to $500,000 of funding from the Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund, administered by the NSW Government.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the re-opening of the site – which had been delayed by COVID-19 – was an important milestone in a long-term plan to restore it to its former glory.

“Port of Newcastle is proud to be the long-term custodian of this building, which has both historical and architectural significance for the city,” Mr Carmody said.

“With a generous contribution from the NSW Government, we have restored the southern façade and created a new community space so people can enjoy the grounds of this picturesque building after a long period closed off to the public.

“The additional $850,000 of work announced today will restore the other three façades and also provide improved weather protection for the interior by addressing historic roof integrity issues.

“We are protecting and respecting the port’s important historic role of the past 220 years, while also powering ahead with ambitious plans for the next 100 years.

“The port has a proud history as well as a critical role to play long into the future.”

Port of Newcastle

Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 171 million tonnes of cargo each year. With its annual trade worth about $25 billion to the New South Wales economy, the Port enables businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets. With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.

For media enquiries, please contact: