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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours
i Containerisation
ii Mineral Ports
iii Oil and Gas Ports
iv Other Bulk Cargoes
v Dredging

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

Sources and References


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Ports And Harbours (continued)

This resulted in narrow wharf aprons designed for 10 tonne axle loads, and wharf sheds with limited height and widths of doorways because most cargoes were moved from ship's side by hand trolley or, a little later in the period, by small fork-lift truck or mobile crane.

In 1966, however, it was announced that the UK/European trade to Australia was to be containerised by mid 1969, so introducing to Australian ports what was to be the most dramatic technological advancement in goods transportation since the advent of the internal combustion engine. Other trade routes to America, Japan, Asia, soon followed the European move and Australia saw a significant operational and management upheaval in the port and shipping industries.

Containerisation also had a profound effect on the design and operation of general cargo berths and because companies wished to limit the 'in port' time of their ships the concept of centralisation of cargo was also introduced. This concentrated the container ships initially to major ports and severely reduced the quantity of cargo being imported and exported through many smaller ports.

The other major change to effect Australia's ports came with the discovery of vast quantities of iron ore, coal, and bauxite, as well as oil and gas, which in many circumstances necessitated the construction of specialised ports. This combined with the steadily increasing size of bulk carriers and oil and gas tankers, required ports to have wider and deeper navigation channels, specialized berths, often designed for open sea conditions, as well as high capacity loading facilities.

These modern cargo handling techniques brought about a need for new and highly sophisticated shore-based facilities. Consequently, Australian port authorities embarked on costly development programmes to provide the deep water needed to accommodate the large bulk carriers and the extensive areas of flat land and cargo handling equipment required to cope with the rapid turn-around and large cargoes of the modern general cargo vessel.

People in Bright Sparcs - Wallace, J. M.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 339, Online Edition 2000
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