Saturday, 23 September 2006

The Hungry Mile

B ig controversy about the naming of this part of Sydney Harbour. It is part of the end of Sydney harbour as a working port - the last remaining port facilities are being moved south to Port Botany and Port Kembla (near Wollongong).

This area, currently referred to as "East Darling Harbour" is to be redeveloped. Here's all the "concept' guff.

A competition has been announced to rename the area. There is quite a campaign lobbying for one name already ruled out: The Hungry Mile. This is the wharves and port area where men during the Great Depression walked searching for work as wharf labourers (wharfies in Australian parlance) on a day hire basis. Sometimes they were lucky, many times not. Conditions those 'lucky ' enough to work under were atrocious.

You can read more about the Hungry Mile Name Campaign here.

The current Labor government has ruled out this name - maybe it is too embarassing a legacy in these days when their largest political donors are property developers, who tend to prefer much more anodyne and "naicer" names than something which recalls hard times and political struggle?

Postscript 27/9/06: The government has announced that Hickson Road, along which the men walked will be renamed The Hungry Mile, and that there will be history markers. Story here.


  1. If the redevelopment includes a lot of eateries, though, it'd be a spectacular name, wouldn't you say?

  2. Preciselyt :-) Some wags have suggested names like "Hungry Jacks" (which is a hamburger chain), meg!

  3. Hungry Jacks, that's a cool name!!! Would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Yes, I've heard of the Hungry mile.A couple of weeks ago I saw the model of the selected redevelopment project. I definitely believe the project should take the powerful history of the location into consideration. A self-guided walk with tutorial plaques along the way would seem like a good idea.

  4. nice sky :D

  5. I was in this area myself today and was glad to hear that The Hungary Mile is to be used in some fashion in honour of maritime workers who lived a very difficult life.