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Multi-user facility
Glebe Island, Sydney

Glebe Island has been a working port for over 100 years and now a new port facility will help supply Sydney’s construction boom.

Glebe Island in Sydney Harbour has been a vital maritime supply route for over 100 years and has been used for importing concrete and gypsum to service Sydney’s construction supply needs since the early 1990s. The port’s berths provide a low-cost, low-impact and sustainable way to bring dry bulk materials (including sand for making concrete) into the city.

There is an increasing demand in Sydney city for construction materials (including sand to make concrete) to service the NSW Government’s major infrastructure projects. To assist, Port Authority is building a multi-user facility at Glebe Island that will provide a low-impact and sustainable facility to ship the materials to – a single vessel can keep up to 1,500 truckloads off the roads.

Located adjacent to berths 1 and 2 on the eastern side of Glebe Island, once build the facility will:

  • facilitate taking the materials (sand and rock aggregates) off ships
  • move the materials via conveyor belts to an enclosed storage building
  • feed materials from the storage bays to an internal truck loading area, before being distributed to concrete batching plants in Sydney.

Port Authority is in negotiations with potential operators of the facility. Protocols developed by Port Authority will ensure operators understand and meet the conditions of approval for the facility.

Read more about the multi-user facility project 

Status of the multi-user facility

Construction started in August 2020, with site establishment occurring prior. The 15,000m2 facility (equivalent to approx. five tennis courts wide and 20m high) will be constructed using structural steel frames, colorbond cladding, a precast concrete perimeter wall and concrete pile footing. Construction will take approximately nine to twelve months, weather permitting, and is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

The following construction activities have been completed:

  • site preparation
  • installation of electrical services
  • asphalt profiling
  • mapping the perimeter of the facility 
  • initial piling works.

The construction was then paused following discussions with a preferred tenant to explore refinements to the facility to improve operational efficiencies. Work will now resume with some initial strengthening to the ground at Glebe Island for operations, noting Glebe Island is predominantly reclaimed land.

Groundworks will occur between 27 January and 2 February 2021 during standard construction hours (Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm). You can expect to see approximately six workers on site with a non-impact rotating drill rig, excavator and concrete pouring machine. The program of work on site will include:
• 27 January 2021 – delivering machinery.
• 27 January to 2 February 2021:
– removing existing asphalt using an excavator
to prepare the ground for drilling
– drilling 50 holes to varying depths using
a rotating drill rig
– pouring concrete into the 50 holes to strengthen
the ground foundation.
• 2 February 2021 – removing the machinery.
• A visit to the site 14 days after the pouring of concrete to test the strength of the ground.

These works are preliminary and further ground strengthening work may be undertaken in the coming months prior to construction of the facility continuing. Works are being carried out in line with the planning approval. The facility’s exterior appearance is not expected to change as a result of the in-ground works. It is anticipated that construction of the facility will recommence in June/July 2021. A project update with these details will be distributed at this time. The expected completion of the facility is now early 2022.

Important considerations for the multi-user facility

The construction of the multi-user facility was granted having followed the NSW Government planning processes under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

To date, community consultation has occurred through the following:

Noise and the facility’s exterior appearance were identified in the consultation process as key concerns by residents. Below outlines how Port Authority is working to mitigate these concerns.

Noise mitigation

Port Authority wants to be a good neighbour and site owner and that involves setting clear parameters about how noise will be managed at our facility – for the benefit of both the community and our customers. Following public feedback, we have finalised the Noise policy and protocol that will guide operations at the site from now on.

Read more at www.portauthoritynsw.com.au/noisepolicy.

Facility's exterior appearance

Thank you to the residents who met in late October 2020 to discuss the design concepts for the exterior finish of the facility’s eastern facade. The three main elements identified for incorporation in the final design are:
greenery (in the form of a living green wall)
• links to indigenous history, maritime and cultural heritage
colours and features that soften the building’s appearance and harmonise with the surrounding area.

Based on these elements, artists are being invited to produce final design concepts. A professional independent art advisory panel will then be assembled to provide their insights into the concepts produced
by the artists and to select the final design. The final design will be shared with the community later this year.

If you would like to provide feedback, email it to glebeisland_multiuserfacility@portauthoritynsw.com.au or call 9296 4962.

Next steps

Port Authority is committed to keeping residents and members of the Glebe Island and White Bay Community Liaison Group informed of the progress throughout the construction of the facility.

A Project Update will be letter box dropped and available on this webpage in June/July and will include details on:

  • construction progress
  • progress on the implemented Port Noise Policy
  • an update on the facility’s exterior appearance.

Register to receive updates as they become available.

Associated multi-user facility documents:

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