Cooks River

River that flows through south-west Sydney, starting at Graf Park, Yagoona, through to Botany Bay at Kyeemagh. The river was extensively polluted by industry and its course was changed to accommodate the runways of Sydney Airport.

Type

Canterbury Sugarworks

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

As the earliest surviving element of the Australian sugar industry, the Sugarworks has endured a variety of industrial uses to become an intrinsic part of Canterbury's heritage.

The Prout's Bridge Incident

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

Canterbury residents' delight at the new bridge constructed across the Cooks River to shorten their journey to markets in Sydney quickly turned to anger and complaint as Cornelius Prout set about imposing a toll

Booralee fishing town

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

Just as the Kameygal people had enjoyed the rich sea life of Botany Bay, Booralee thrived as a vibrant fishing village for over a century until overfishing and pollution saw the demise of the fishing industry.

From Sheas Creek to Alexandra Canal

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

Once a stream draining much of southern Sydney, the conversion of the Sheas Creek to an industrial canal resulted in a polluted and ugly corridor that has defied attempts at remediation

Aboriginal people of the Cooks River valley

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

For the Eora people, the Cooks River valley was a crossroad for trade, social and ceremonial networks but when the first European settlers ventured south, their explorations brought death and destruction to the clans

Bark huts and country estates

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

In their drive to establish country estates and thriving industries in the Cooks River valley during the nineteenth century, European settlers exploited the water, timber and fertile soils of the Cooks River with little appreciation of the impact of their 'improvements'

From a fine stream to an industrial watercourse

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2013

As Sydney expanded in the nineteenth century the picturesque waterways and valleys of the Cooks River were to host a network of waterworks and rail and road infrastructure that were to degrade the landscape forever.

Industry in the Cooks River valley

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2013

As industry took hold in Cooks River valley, pollution and drainage became entrenched problems accompanied by flooding and public health concerns.

Urban growth in the Cooks River valley

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2013

Urbanisation, industry and pollution transformed the once lush Aboriginal hunting grounds and picturesque locale of the Cooks River valley into the inner city suburban sprawl we know today

Damming the Cooks River

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2013

Once considered 'the greatest boon ever conferred upon the town', the Cooks River dam became an endless source of environmental blight and misery to Sydneysiders and by the turn of the century was demolished

Servicing Sydney's thirst

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2013

Increasing population and industry saw the Cooks River transformed from a pristine natural watercourse into a highly modified and polluted river

First people of the Cooks River

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2013

From beyond the time when the river flowed as Europeans came to know it, and long after its banks were dotted with farms, Aboriginal people have had a strong connection to the Cooks River.

Managing the Cooks River today

,
2013

Formed in 2011 to address the complex needs of the Cooks River today, the Alliance includes representatives from Ashfield, Bankstown, Canterbury, City of Sydney, Hurstville, Marrickville, Rockdale and Strathfield councils