Monday, 22 May 2017

1984: Introduction of Saturday afternoon retail trading

Older readers would recall well the days when shops were required to shut at noon on a Saturday and in shops and shopping centres across the city, the battle was on to get the shopping done in the morning.

I would love those readers to share their stories of those battles.

By the 1980's however, retailers had found loop holes in trading law that had allowed them to trade seven days a week provided that they were a "small" business. However if a major retailer sold identical goods on a Sunday, they could be fined. Shoppers wanted more time to shop as well.

Electrical and furniture stores like Harvey Norman, Joyce Mayne and Norman Ross were trading on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, yet were not subject to prosecution under state law. However if Grace Bros, Waltons or David Jones opened during those hours, they would be prosecuted.

This was used by the unions to oppose further extensions to trading hours.

In 1983, the State Government passed legislation to allow all retailers to trade on a Saturday afternoon along with a second evening of late night trading during the week. It was proposed to be implemented from February 1984, but it was not until August that retailers were allowed to trade on Saturday afternoons.

The winners from extended trading hours were:

  • Shoppers - No need to rush on a Saturday to complete their shopping. They could take their time to purchase, but also have more options.
  • Major retailers - Opportunities to earn more income, even if it meant that the costs of operating stores were higher.
The losers were:
  • Retail workers - Unions argued that workers would lose time to spend with their families and even threaten full time jobs. From an employment perspective however, there would be scope for more jobs to be created. Longer hours would increase demand for labour.
  • Small businesses - With fewer employees, small businesses like corner shops could trade on Saturday afternoons and Sundays without competition from the big retailers.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a feature following the first weekend of Saturday afternoon trading in August 1984, and for small businesses it wasn't a good day. Shoppers seemed happy though.

Source: Hill, R. 1984. "Big stores happy, but not the small shops". The Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 3. 

However one exception was David Jones, who decided to introduce Saturday afternoon trading from the following Saturday (August 18).

With retailers allowed to trade all day Saturday, the push would soon be on for trading on Sundays.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Property Advert of Week: Tulong Place, Gymea Land Auction (1972)

This week, I share an advertisement for blocks of land in Tulong Place, Gymea, dating back to 1972.

  Tulong Place Gymea Ad October 4 1972 The Leader 62

Source: Harvey Real Estate (Caringbah) Pty. Ltd. 1972. "Land Auction". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, October 4, 62.

Monday, 15 May 2017

1997: M2 Motorway opens to the Public

In 1997, those in the booming North West suburbs now had a motorway that would make travel much easier, but yet they were reluctant to use it despite the reductions in travel time that it promised.

M2 Opens May 26 1997 daily telegraph 1
M2 Opens May 26 1997 daily telegraph 2

Source: Hilferty, T & Walsh, P. 1997. "M2 Chaos: Traffic anger as tollway opens". The Daily Telegraph, May 26, 1 & 2. 

 And then there were those who opposed it because it involved the loss of trees and vegetation. They were vocal from the planning stages and even on opening day wanted to spoil the celebrations. While for others, it was the fact one had to pay for the toll ($2.50).

Three months later, people still stayed away.

  M2 Motorway August 9 1997 daily telegraph 15

Source: Gibson, B. 1997. "Going nowhere fast". The Daily Telegraph, August 9, 15. 

But eventually the motorway did fill up with traffic and would form a piece of the Sydney Orbital network. Early in 2006, the M7 allowed drivers on the M2 a direct link through western Sydney down to the M5 Motorway and Hume Highway. In 2007, the Lane Cove Tunnel connected the M2 to the Gore Hill and Warringah Freeways.

During 2011 and 2013, an additional lane was added in each direction with improvements to on and off ramps.

Currently, the NorthConnex Project will connect the M2 Motorway to the M1 Motorway. This will be completed in 2019. Drivers will no longer need to use Pennant Hills Road or the Pacific Highway if driving in or out of Sydney.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Wattle Grove (1992)

Some time ago, I posted an advertisement for new homes at Wattle Grove dating to 1995. This week, here is another advertisement for Wattle Grove, dating back to 1992.

Wattle Grove Ad January 18 1992 Daily Telegraph 50

Source: Wattle Grove. 1992. "Total Lifestyle on Display Now". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 18, 50. 

Monday, 8 May 2017

1990: The Jetcats enter service

In 1990, the Griener Government introduced the Jetcat ferries into operation on Sydney Harbour. This stemmed from the decision of NSW Transport Minister Bruce Baird in 1988 to replace the ageing hydrofoils.

  Hydrofoils to be scrapped 1988 

Source: Nicholson, L. 1988. "Costly hydrofoils will be scrapped". The Daily Telegraph, August 22, 9.

The Jetcats promised a modern and more reliable service for Ferry Commuters. For the government, the costs of servicing the Jetcats would be lower. In addition, there was the promise of more comfort for commuters. There were plans to eventually expand the service to Gladesville but also operate as far as Port Kembla and Newcastle.

  Sydney Transport April 30 1990 daily telegraph 15

Source: Morris, L. 1990. "Jetcat to oust the hydrofoils". The Daily Telegraph, April 30, 15. 

The first Jetcat to enter service was The Blue Fin. It ended up with its name after the public were asked to name the new ferry.

  jetcat april 29 1990 daily telegraph

Source: Anomonyous. 1990. "Blue Fin slices time to Manly". The Sunday Telegraph, April 29, page unknown.

Jetcat naming ad March 21 1990 The Daily Telegraph

Source: State Transit. 1990. "Name Your Own $5m. Catamaran" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, March 21, page unknown. 

The Blue Fin commenced operation on July 16 1990 after three months of trials. Below is a preview article from The Daily Telegraph.

Jetcat July 16 1990 daily telegraph 

Source: Riddell, A. 1990. "Anchors away for new Jetcat". The Daily Telegraph, July 16, 12. 

 The hydrofoils after 26 years of service ran their last service in March 1991 after another two Jetcats - Sir David Martin and Sea Eagle were bought into service. During their first decade of service, The Jetcats were actively used. In fact they were seen as a fifth ferry on the Manly run, replacing the regular ferries late at night and early in the morning. It was argued that with fewer crew needed (and commuter demand), operating late night services would keep costs of operating the broader Manly Ferry service down. If existing ferries broke down, the Jetcat fleet would act as a substitute (as a trio), like in 2004 when two Manly Ferries - Collaroy and Queenscliff were out of service for maintainence. In the final years of service, Jetcats were restricted to peak hour operations only.

 Sadly, The Jetcat fleet sadly had a shorter life than their predecessors. Jetcats were withdrawn from service on December 31, 2008. It was argued that costs had increased along with declines in revenue. They were lucky not to have been pulled out of service earlier, when the Carr Government (1995-2005) introduced Supercats to the Sydney Ferries Fleet but had struggled to cope with the swells at the Heads of Sydney Harbour. Manly Fast Ferries (2009) currently operate High speed services between Manly and Circular Quay, but have expanded to provide services from Manly to North Sydney, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont Bay and the Eastern Suburbs. Sydney Fast Ferries also operated services between 2010 and 2015, when they were the tender to operate the high speed service.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Wimpey Homes (1966)

This week I share a Wimpey Homes advertisement from 1966, promoting new house and land packages at Castle Hill and Fairfield West. 

Wimpey Homes Ad October 21 1966 the sun 64

Source: Wimpey Homes. 1966. Untitled (Advertisement). The Sun, October 21, 64. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

1968: The Lady Class Ferries debut on Sydney Harbour

Back in 2015, I shared a 1966 newspaper clipping on the Lady Class Ferries that were due to enter into service by the end of 1967.

On September 19 1968, the first of six Lady Class Ferries - Lady Cutler, entered service. It was named after the wife of the current NSW Governor, Sir Roden Cutler who was there in person to see her namesake.. Another five ferries would enter service over the next decade. Lady Northcott and Lady Herron still operate today.

lady cutler sept 20 1968

Source: Anonymous. 1968. "New Lady Takes Harbour". The Daily Telegraph, September 20, 3. 

The ferry operated until 1991. In 1998, it sailed down to Melbourne. After refurbishment works, it returned to service in 2007 as the Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat and does chartered cruises along the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. .

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Property Advert of the Week: C.A. Sanders & Co. (1971)

Here is a classic advertisement as promoting homes for sale by southern Sydney real estate agent - C.A. Sanders & Co from 1971.

  CA Sanders and Co Ad November 17 1971 The Leader page unknown

Source: C.A. Sanders & Co. (1971). Untitled (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, November 17, Page Unknown.

Monday, 24 April 2017

1970: The 747 arrives in Sydney

Source: Anonymous. 1970. Untitled (photograph). The Sydney Morning Herald, October 5, 1. 

On October 4, 1970, the first 747 jumbo jet landed at Sydney Airport before a crowd of 10 000 people. In fact it was the first 747 jet to land in Australia.

The PAN-AM flight from Los Angeles, via Honolulu and Nadi arrived approximately 6:30pm, more than nine and a half hours late due to mechanical problems with the jet. It's arrival would inaugurate PAN-AM's twice weekly 747 service between Sydney and Los Angeles.

Source: Anonymous. 1970. Untitled (photograph). The Daily Telegraph, October 5, 1. 

Below is coverage of the arrival as seen by The Daily Telegraph on October 5, 1970. 

747 makes first appearance october 5 1970 daily telegraph 3

Qantas commenced 747 services the following year. The Boeing 747 jet like the Boeing 707's that came into operation just a decade earlier transformed the way that Sydneysiders travel around the world. While the objective by airlines like PAN-AM was to reduce congestion at airports, it had cost benefits for airlines. It could carry up twice the number of passengers that a 707 could carry. The cost of flying would fall opening up more opportunities for Sydneysiders to see the world, within their budgets.

Earlier in 1970, the International Terminal opened on its current location on the western side of the airport, and the design of the terminal accommodated for the new jets. It also led to the extension of the North-South Runway out into Botany Bay. 

Aircraft noise was already huge issue in suburbs surrounding the airport, especially in Rockdale. The 747's were noted as being much quieter than 707's. However the problem would not disappear but worsen as the airport grew in the decades to come and air traffic increased. Up to eighty planes land per hour at Sydney Airport today. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Shepherd Meadows - Toongabbie (1973)

Here is one from Long Industries Homes (now Long Homes) from 1973 featuring the Australiana series which was on display at Toongabbie.

Long Industries Ad April  7 1973 daily telegraph 39

Source: Long Industries Homes. 1973. "Shepherd Meadows" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, April 7, 39. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

1997: Plans for the Eastern Distributor are unveiled

Eastern Distributor April 10 1997 daily telegraph 

Source: Bissett, K. 1997. "Motorway sinks but toll will rise". The Daily Telegraph, April 10, 8

Did you know that it is 20 years ago this month that plans for the Eastern Distributor that we see today were unveiled?

While there had been calls for the entire road to be placed underground, attempts were made to make it appear more environmentally sensitive. This included sinking sections of the motorway under South Dowling Street and the landbridge connecting The Domain with the Royal Botanical Gardens

Opening was slated for 2000 (The Daily Telegraph), but was opened ahead of schedule in December 1999, sticking to the promised $3 toll.

ED plan 1997 April 15 smh

Source: Morris, L. 1997. "New $1bn plan for eastern M-way". The Sydney Morning Herald, April 15, 4. 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Peninsula Apartments Pyrmont (1998)

Large week, it was split level townhouses that one could buy in 1998 on the north shore if you wanted compact without losing the bigness of a home, but if you wanted to be close to the city, you could choose a "super large" apartment in the Peninsula Apartment Complex at Pyrmont.

  Peninsula Apartments Pyrmont June 11 1998 SMH 17RE

Source: Sydney Prime Realty. 1998. "Peninsula apartments; Living Large". The Sydney Morning Herald, June 11, 17RE (Real Estate Liftout). 

Monday, 10 April 2017

1965: The Royal Easter Show Official Opening + additional find from the 1992 show

On Saturday, the Royal Easter Show was officially opened by the Governor General of Australia - Sir Peter Cosgrove and is the pinnacle event of the show when the best of Australian agriculture is put on show with those assembled in the Main Arena treated to a spectacular procession. The Grand Parade has been held annually since 1907. In 1965, the Duke of Gloucester was on hand to officially open the show, making him the first member of the Royal Family to open a show since 1824. Here is a report from the April 15, 1965 edition The Daily Telegraph of the Official Opening. We are also treated a picture of the formations from the parade, one tradition that still holds to this very day.

  Royal Easter Show April 15 1965 daily telegraph 3

I hope you enjoyed last weeks insights into the 1992 Royal Easter Show, but I felt this article should also be shared from 1992. The recession was still biting hard on peoples pockets. It was being reported that more people were passing through the gates, but spent less once inside the gates.

  Royal Easter Show April 12 1992 daily telegraph 7

Source: Thorpe, D. 1992. "It's Showtime". The Sunday Telegraph, April 12, 7. 

But on a positive, people did their homework before buying their show bags. A very handy tip if you want to get bags with good stuff at a good price!!!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Pemberley Grove, St Ives (1998)

This week we head up to St Ives, where split level townhouses were on offer in 1998 at the Pemberley Grove complex in Shinfield Avenue.

Permberly Grove St Ives June 13 1998 SMH 10RE

Here is a Google Earth link to view the complex from the street. 

Source: AustLand. 1998. "Pemberley Grove" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 10RE (Real Estate Liftout). 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Royal Easter Show Flashback: 1992

Source: Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. 1992. "There's No Time Like Showtime" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 46.

The 2017 Royal Easter Show commences on Thursday at the Sydney Showgrounds at Sydney Olympic Park.

Lets look back at the highlights from the 1992 Royal Easter Show.

It was the sixth last show held at Moore Park (1997 was its final year) as planning continued towards the eventual relocation of the showgrounds. Newspapers provided very valuable coverage of the events from the Easter Show including the preview guides.

Dates: April 10 - April 21, 1992

Admission & Transport:

Easter Show Preview April 8 1992 daily telegraph (2) - Showlink Page 46

Source: Cityrail. 1992. "Cheap Thrills" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 46

Adults: $13 (Showlink - From $14.00). This was $1.50 more more than 1991.
Children: $7 (Showlink - From $ 8.00)
Students & Pensioners: $10 (Showlink from $11.00)

Family discounts applied if there was a second child etc if attending as a family. They went in for free!!!

Showlink Tickets for the first time allowed show goers to use either (or a combination of) buses, trains and ferries to travel to and from the show. Paying just an extra dollar for public transport provided incentive for people to leave the car at home. I remember my parents driving to the show that year and the car parks in Moore Park were packed to the brim as usual.

It may appear to be more affordable to the average person, but remember you could purchase either a show entry ticket only or the all in one ticket. Today each person must pay a flat admission charge which includes public transport to and from the show on all modes.

This year, an adult will be charged $41.50 for Easter Show admission (up $1 from 2016) but is lower if booked online. Purchase your ticket before Wednesday and you will pay just $37.

  • Royal Easter Show street parade on opening day through central Sydney. 
  • No guest nation for 1992. 
  • Human Cannonball spectacular featuring Michael and Carolyn Vandeleur. This was the first time such an act had been done since 1966 at the show. I remember seeing human canonballs at the 2007 show. 
  • New XPT Xplorer cars on display (advertisement below). 
  • Jimmy Barnes performing on closing night. 
  • The Grand Parade. 
  • Peter West Stunt Spectacular
Easter Show Preview April 8 1992 daily telegraph (4) - XPT Explorer Ad Page 50

Source: Countrylink. 1992. "See the Xplorer that's going to be more famous than Captain Cook" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 50. 

In 2017, there are 380 bags available (up from 300+ last year), and all view able on the Easter Show website. The choices can be overwhelming today, but in 1992, many options were there. Showbags in 2017 will sell for as high as $30. Bertie Beetle was and still is $2 though you can choose from several other Bertie Beetle Bags that retail for up to $15. There are two show bag advertisements that I've included for you to get a feel of what was available.

Source: Anonymous. 1992. "A Selection of Nestles Top 20 Showbags" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 47.

Source: Anonymous. 1992. "A Selection of Nestles Top 20 Showbags" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 48.

Source: Triple M. 1992. "The Triple M Showbag" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, April 8, 48.

Source: Anonymous. 1992. "Super Hero Stand. Your One Stop Shop" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, April 5, 139.

Key Statistics

According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald on April 22, 1992
  • Total attendance was approximately 900 000 which was similar to 1991. Note that less than 750 000 attended in 2016, which was the lowest attendance in a generation. 
  • 118 000 attended on Good Friday. 
  • 6700 metres of hot dogs (down 700 metres from 1991). 
  • 40.7 tonnes of chips 
  • 5000 cubic metres was garbage was collected. 
As a bonus, I have a map of the showgrounds for the 1992 Royal Easter Show which was published in The Daily Telegraph Mirror in their preview guide on April 8.

Easter Show Preview April 8 1992 daily telegraph (3) - Easter Show Map - Page 48

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Presidio Newtown (1999)

This week we head over to Newtown where a one bedroom apartment in the Presido complex would cost you just $198 000 in 1999.

Presideo Targets June 5 1999 SMH 19RE

Source: Anonymous. 1999. "Presidio" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald,  June 5, 19RE (Real Estate Liftout).

Monday, 27 March 2017

1970: Westfield's grand plan for William Street

For nearly four decades, Westfield was based in William Street in central Sydney. Whether you drove up the street or see it in view from the Domain or the top of Park Street, it was a big part of the streetscape. The famous Boulevard Hotel also shared the honour, and still is there today.

Alot of people forget that the office tower and the Boulevard Hotel were part of a grander scheme by Westfield

Westfield Complex 1970 nov 5 SMH

Source: Anonymous. 1970. "Exciting William Street project under way". The Sydney Morning Herald, November 5, page unknown

You'll notice above that the model is looking from William Street. Note that the Boulevard Hotel and the former Westfield Offices are at right. The scheme by Westfield comprised of:

*Two office towers - Only the tower (right) was built which was to house Westfield's offices.
*Motel (Boulevard Hotel) & motel
*Retail space
*Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The project would have been part of a greater scheme by city planners to turn William Street into a major boulevard, which simply has never come to fruition.

Had the scheme gone ahead, I think William Street would have been a more reputable address for businesses to be based and spurred further development on the city fringes, extending the Sydney CBD into Kings Cross.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Property Advert of the Week: The Rawson, Balmoral (1998)

This week, we head up to one the most prestige suburbs on the North Shore - Balmoral. In 1998, a prestige penthouse was up for the grabs right on the slopes.

The Rawson Balmoral June 13 1998 SMH10RE

Source: Winten Property Group. 1998. "The Rawson" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 10RE (Real Estate Liftout).

Monday, 20 March 2017

1966: When Epping wanted to go its own way.

With forced council mergers a big topic in communities across sydney, I found an article from 1966 when Epping wanted to create its own council to resolve the situation where the suburb was divided amongst three councils - Parramatta, Hornsby and Ryde. This was seen as causing headaches for locals. The existing councils opposed the idea. It never got off the ground, but under the NSW Government's policy of forced council mergers, the entire suburb of Epping was incorporated into the City of Parramatta Council in May 2016.

Epping Council December 30 1966 daily telegraph 9

Source: Anonymous. 1966. "Epping Fights Hard for its Own Council". The Daily Telegraph, December 30, 9.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Property Advert of the Week: AVJennings Advertisement (2001)

Here is another great AVJennings advertisement from 2001 which was published in the Homes Liftout of The Daily Telegraph

AVJennings April 14 2001 daily telegraph page unknown

Source: AVJennings. 2001. "Add on a rumpus room for only $1,932." (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, April 14 2001, Homes Liftout (Page Unknown).

Monday, 13 March 2017

1966: Goldfields House is open for business

Photo taken by the Author.

In 1966, Goldfields House in Alfred Street accepted its first tenants when it was completed. For its 50th birthday last year, it was given the worst present one could receive - death.

Currently its in the process of being demolished, but I did find an article from The Sydney Morning Herald in 1966 which provides an insight into the building. The report mentions the tower being 27 stories tall, but the skyscraper centres lists it as being 25 stories tall but the height of 110 metres is correct. 

Source: Anonymous. 1966. "Tenants moving into balancing block on Quay". The Sydney Morning Herald, December 6, 25. 

People have mentioned the similarities between Goldfields House and the AMP Building located down the street. They were designed by the same firm - Peddle Thorp Walker. The AMP has a curved facade whereas Goldfields House does not. 

Here is another feature on Goldfields House that was published in The Daily Telegraph on November 7 1966.

Goldfields House november 7 1966 daily telegraph 20

Source: Anonymous. 1966. "Final touches to Gold Fields House. The Daily Telegraph, November 6, 20. 

The building's fate was sealed in late 2014 when Chinese Property Tycoon Dalian Wanda bought the building for $425 million. Wanda also owns adjoining properties including the Rugby Club and Fairfax House in Pitt Street. The three sites have been combined, all buildings demolished and two towers will rise. A 30 storey (110 metre) hotel tower will rise on the Pitt Street side, while the remainder of the site will have a 59 storey (197 metre) apartment tower containing ultra luxury apartments.

Source: Anonymous. 2016. Untitled. Image. 

What has made the redevelopment of the Goldfields site possible has been the huge demand for apartments in central Sydney along with a relaxation of planning guidelines. The location is also a major factor with the building located right opposite Circular Quay with never to be built out views of Sydney Harbour. 

While the office space in Goldfields House was rated as A-grade, businesses prefer newer buildings that can accommodate and reflect current workplace environments, which is difficult in older buildings like Goldfields. While its possible to gut the tower and modify it, returns from converting a building into a residential building can result in higher returns for investors and developers. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Warehouse 82, Chippendale (1998)

In 1998, you could purchase a designer warehouse apartment at 82 Myrtle Street, Chippendale.

  Warehouse 82 Chippendale June 11 1998 SMH 17RE

Source: Bay Developments & McGrath Partners Project Development, 1998. "Exquisite Warehouse Conversion" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 11, 17RE (Real Estate Liftout).

Monday, 6 March 2017

1990: Rain, Rain and More of the Same

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that Sydney is not only facing a wetter than usual Autumn and Winter, but the city is also on a trend towards higher annual rainfalls, going against research that suggests that climate change will lead to a drier city.

For me, the rain when it comes seems to occur less often but when it does rain, it is more intense.

But I do have this clipping from The Daily Mirror published in 1990 where weather reporter Don White (still working at The Daily Telegraph) explains why Sydneysiders back then were being subjected to wet weather.

Both yesterdays article and the article from 1990 want to blame El Nino, because it is being predicted that were due for one later this year.

Source: White, D. 1990. "Rain, Rain and More of the Same". The Daily Mirror, April 10, 20-21. 

And yes, some more rain is forecast this week. At least its better than the 40 degree weather we had to put up with during our hottest summer on record in 2016-17.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Harvey Real Estate Sutherland Shire Land Sales (1972)

In October 1972, Harvey Real Estate were asked on behalf of Sutherland Shire Council to auction off blocks of land in various suburbs of the Sutherland Shire.

October 4 1972 The Leader 62

Source: Harvey Real Estate. 1972. "Land Auction" (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, October 4, 62.

Monday, 27 February 2017

1965: What the Hurstville Super Centre might have been

Hurstville Central is the shopping centre located right above Hurstville Railway Station. It is a busy commuter shopping centre that was once known as the Hurstville Super Centre.

It is currently a one level shopping centre, containing a Coles Supermarket and food retailers to cater for commuters using the railway station and transport interchange. There is a rooftop carpark above with medical centre

The Centre has traded since 1965, and was seen as essential to reviving Hurstville's retailing precinct, which was being threatened by the opening of shopping complexes at Miranda (Miranda Fair) and Roselands.

Hurstville Supercentre April 26 1961 The Leader 10

Source: Super Centre Development Corporation Limited. 1961. "Hurstville Super Centre Limited" (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, April 26, 10. 

Original plans from the early 1960's called for much more believe it or not. This included:

  • Extra parking
  • "Prestige" shopping level above the existing shopping centre.
  • Offices
  • Apartments (Approximately six levels)

At the time of  the opening of stage one in 1965, customers were promised alot more in the future than the fifty shops and rooftop carpark that they were getting. 


Source: Anonymous. 1965. "This is It! The Start of a new era in shopping convenience" (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, 30 & 31.

Even in 1970, there will still hope it would proceed as per original plans:

  Hurstville Super Centre May 27 1970 The Leader 7 

Source: Anonymous. 1970. "Scheme Still Alive". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, May 27, 7.

The development was never built further than stage one. In the 1970's, Westfield was built nearby including the arcade that links it with Forest Road. By the 1990's the centre went into a gradual decline. Even Franklins (which had replaced Coles) disappeared. By the mid 2000's the centre was desolate with large areas vacant and the structure itself in a bad state. Proposals were changed yet never saw the light of day. I took these photos in 2006 which show its bad condition.

A change of ownership a decade ago saw a major interior upgrade of the cent. As part of the process it was rebranded as Hurstville Central. Coles returned and the centre itself is doing quite well with most spaces occupied. Below are several photos of the current centre from 2008.

What if?

You might be asking yourselves the What If? question. This is what I think might have happened had the development proceeded.

  • More flexible highrise development in Hurstville's CBD on both the Kogarah Council and Hurstville Council sides. The presence of the highrise unit blocks would have given incentive to build. While Hurstville contains its fair share of highrises today, maybe we might have seen a few more. 
  • The Super Centre would probably have declined in status as time went along. Space to expand would have been limited i.e -built to Ormonde Parade with limited room for expansion into Forest Road.
  • Struggled to get tenants for it's "prestige" shopping floor. Hurstville is traditionally seen as a working class suburb and getting some high end boutiques into Hurstville might have been tough.