Mort’s Dock listed on the NSW State Heritage Register

Sarah Ward Maritime Archaeologist

On Sunday 22nd May 2011, a dedicated crowd gathered at Mort’s Park to commemorate the listing of Mort’s Dock on the NSW State Heritage Register.

Members of the Balmain Association, Heritage planners, Councillors, local residents and Member for Balmain: Jamie Parker, incoming Leichhardt Mayor Cr Porteous and Gabrielle Kibble of the Heritage Council of NSW were all present for this significant event. Sarah Ward, Maritime Archaeologist Office of Environment and Heritage for the NSW Department nominated the site for the Heritage register and opened the event acknowledging that the listing was a significant event for the people of Balmain and would have made Nick Origlass and Issy Wyner proud. It celebrates the social and cultural significance of the site and will help protect Mort’s Bay Park, in years to come.

Speeches made by the outgoing mayor and other guest speakers alike commemorated the longtime efforts of the Balmain Association and resident action groups who have worked so hard over the years to improve and protect Balmain’s working harbour.

Gabrielle Kibble: Heritage Council of NSW, Mayor of Leichhardt, Rochelle Porteous, Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker

History: Balmain’s Mort’ Dock named after Thomas Mort, was the first Dry dock of it’s size, opening in 1855 one year before Cockatoo island. It was the largest shipyard and engineering workshop, and the colony’s largest private enterprise. Also home of the Ship Painters and Dockers union which was established on site in 1872 and instrumental in the creation of what was later become the Australian Labour Party in 1891.

Nick Origlass: Local Exception or Prophet for the 21st Century?

Nick Origlass (1908-1996) is credited with introducing ‘open council’ and championing ‘public participation in planning’ on Leichhardt Council in the 1960s. On April 14th as part of our local Heritage Festival programme former Leichhardt councillor Hall Greenland spoke on the rich legacy of these ideas pioneered by Nick and his comrade Issy Wyner – whether the ideas worked; and “does, in fact, the good men and women do, live on after them?” You can download Hall Greenland’s talk here (Adobe PDF reader required).Origlass_Heritage Week talk

Nick Origlass – defending local interests in the Leichhardt area, 1970s

Heritage Festival April 9-24 2010

Leichhardt Council and the Local studies team invites you to come and enjoy a range of events for Heritage Festival Week. L