I recently had the extraordinary good luck to have a joy flight over Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the lower Hunter in a single-engined aircraft. After a couple of cancellations due to bad weather and head colds we finally made it aloft on what was a spectacularly glorious day. Among the many highlights was a moment of banking over the city at 500 feet and looking down to see my beloved Styx Creek and gasworks glide into view.
Seeing it from this altitude put the area’s scale into perspective. This is the view that developers and state government stamp duty collectors must have all the time, their eyes boring into this prize patch of land, quietly waiting for land values to reach the point where it’s worth scraping off the polluted topsoil and banging on a few hundred apartments.
That day’s unlikely to arrive for some time, but I do wish I knew what was going on with the gasworks and the triangular-shaped piece of land between Broadmeadow and Hamilton railway stations. I was chatting to the young fella whose job it is to collect water samples from the creek and the gasworks.
He’d been hearing theories about the proposed transport hub for the back of Broadmeadow, with the possibility of the gasworks becoming a car park for people to park-and-drive. This is one idea that bubbles around like the coal tar that oozes up from between the cracks in the concrete creek bed. One day? I dunno. Maybe.
There’s certainly been activity again in the gasworks. The lock was busted open (someone lost the key!) so that a big truck could get in.
Large pipes were trailed around the site.
They led to a wheeled manifold, and a pumpy looking thing, and a big tank … and … and there my knowledge of manly hydrographic implements became exhausted.
But it’s a sign, a sign that something’s happening.
Which I wish it would for the old admin building. The flagpole, rotten at the base, finally fell or was pushed over.
The windows have been smashed and the doors opened for some time now.
The old front room has had the spray treatment. G’day, Kismo.
Is that you who pinched the razzle magazine from the newsagent? In the age of uncensored internet porn this moderately risque magazine looked almost quaint. Well, almost.
Jemena don’t answer my emails asking what they’re going to do with the building. Renew Newcastle tried to get somewhere with it too but I haven’t heard from them for a while, so I think that that idea’s probably dead in the water. Poor old gasworks.
If anyone DOES know, please send me the answer on a postcard or the back of a stamped self-addressed envelope. Or an email.