Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Homebush Bay

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Homebush Bay

Homebush Bay is a residential and commercial suburb, named in 1989, which includes Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park. Previously the area was part of the suburb of Lidcombe and sometimes called North Lidcombe. It has a separate existence from the suburb of Homebush, which has a much longer history. It is within the Auburn local government area, but planning is approved by the state government's minister for planning.

The custodians of this land were the Wangal clan of the Eora or Dharawal people. [1] The original landscape included eucalyptus forest on Wianamatta shale soils and wetlands in the lower reaches of Haslams Creek and Powells Creek and on the shores of Homebush Bay and the Parramatta River. Haslams Creek was formerly called Hackings Creek. Remnants of the eucalyptus forest and Aboriginal archaeological sites are preserved in the Newington Armoury. [2]

The state abattoirs and the state brickworks occupied a large part of the area before it became the present mix of homes and venues, most of which has occurred from the 1990s onwards. To the east lies the bay itself, which is a large inlet to the Parramatta River. Haslams Creek and Powells Creek drain into the bay, but have for most of their courses been buried in pipes or concreted over. [3] Mud Island was off the western head of the bay, but since the 1890s the shoreline of much of the western side has been extended for industrial and maritime purposes. Wentworth Bay has disappeared in the reclamation.

Regrettably, in the years between 1900 and 1980, waste from the industries on the shores of the bay at North Lidcombe, on the west at Rhodes and in Concord to the east, contributed to the pollution of the bay and the Parramatta River. Extensive remediation took place before and during the building of Sydney Olympic and Bicentennial parks.

Sydney Olympic Park is a huge sporting, entertainment and exhibition area that includes most of the venues used at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Bicentennial Park was created during the 1980s, and includes picnic, barbecue and event venues. Its preserved tidal and mangrove wetlands, which are accessible by wooden walkways, are sanctuaries for birds and fish. [4]


[1] Emma Lee and Dawala-Lia, Aboriginal history of Homebush Bay Olympic site. Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Sydney, 1998

[2] Fox & Associates. Homebush Bay Conservation Study. Dept of Environment and Planning, Sydney, 1986, http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au

[3] Fox & Associates. Homebush Bay Conservation Study. Dept of Environment and Planning, Sydney, 1986, pp 55–92; A and H Bonano, Summary Report and Review of Heritage Studies Relating to the Homebush Bay Area, Dept of Planning, Sydney 1993, pp 10–25

[4] www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/venue_hire/venues_and_sites/bicentennial_park