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Port Augusta : major industries : shipping

For over a century Port Augusta's strategic location at the head of Spencer Gulf made it a port for the export of wool, wheat and minerals from the surrounding inland areas.

However with the decline in wheat growing after 1884 and the construction of the Great Northern Railway to Quorn and lines to Farina and Terowie there was a decline in the port's activities. Freight which had previously been transported via ship was now being freighted by rail to Adelaide, bypassing Port Augusta. From 1908 provision ships arrived with railway materials such as sleepers and coal from New South Wales until 1955 when road transportation took over. Diesel trains also meant that coal imports from NSW were no longer necessary.

Wheat and wool were still exported from Port Augusta, but instead of special ships being put on, regular visiting vessels took it to Adelaide for transhipment.

From 1942 coal from Leigh Creek was exported from the port. By 1954 the bulk of wool was freighted by road or rail, and in 1956 the regular weekly shipping service was discontinued, Anderson (p108) suggests that the final blow was the introduction of diesel locomotives by the railway. There were peaks of shipping activity from 1956, but not enough to warrant keeping the port facilities open and they were closed in 1974.

Further reading:

Anderson, RJ Solid town: the history of Port Augusta, [Port Augusta, S. Aust.]: R.J. Anderson, 1988

Historical souvenir of Port Augusta: sixty years of progress, 1876-1936 : diamond jubilee and state centenary celebrations, June 27th-July 11th, 1936, [Port Augusta, S.A.: Port Augusta Diamond Jubilee and State Centenary Celebrations Committee, 1936] see pages 35-38

SA Memory : Wooden walls and iron sides : Developing trade and port histories : Outports : Port Augusta

 

A World port : Port Augusta the magnetic city ...images
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A World port : Port Augusta the magnetic city ...images
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A World port : Port Augusta the magnetic city ...images
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Lighthouses and ports
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Moonta (Ship) : [menu]
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Port Augusta
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Port Augusta : the natural shipping port... for the Bar
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Port Augusta : the natural shipping port... for the Bar
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