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Whyalla shipyards
Title : Whyalla shipyards Whyalla shipyards
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Creator : Smith, Robin, photographer
Source : B 68984
Date of creation : ca. 1962
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Robin Smith. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Robin Smith and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

View over the Whyalla shipbuilding yards to the iron and steel works. Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd (BHP) established a small port at Hummock Hill on Spencer Gulf in 1901. This was for exporting the iron ore mined in the nearby Middleback Ranges across the gulf to its smelters at Port Pirie. The adjacent town grew and in 1920 was proclaimed as Whyalla. By this time BHP was sending the iron ore to its steel works at Newcastle in New South Wales. By the late 1930s they decided to build a blast furnace and associated facilities at Whyalla, and shortly after to build the shipyards.

With the declaration of World War II, BHP was contracted to build corvettes for the Australian Navy. HMAS Whyalla was the first of these. On the completion of its navy contract BHP began to build ships for its own needs and other commercial vessels. In all the Whyalla shipyards built 64 ships of varying size with the last being the Iron Curtis launched in 1978. The yards were closed the same year because shipbuilding in Australia was no longer profitable with increasing competition from Asian shipbuilders.
Coverage year : 1962
Period : 1946-1979
Place : Whyalla
Region : Eyre Peninsula and Far West Coast
Further reading :
Shipbuilding in Australia [editorial Errol H. Coote] [Canberra: Australian Shipbuilders Association[, 1968
Scheiffers, Sue. A ribbon of steel Whyalla: Whyalla Jubilee 150 Committee, 1985
Parsons, Ronald. Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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