Map - Coode Island

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Coode Island

Coode Island, was an island at the convergence of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers, 4 km west of central Melbourne, Australia. Today the low-lying land is part of the Port of Melbourne, site of Swanson and Appleton Docks and their associated container storage and rail yards, as well as a number of chemical storage facilities.

Originally extensive low-lying wetlands, the area became an island after a channel was dug to shorten the length of the Yarra River in 1886. A shipping canal was constructed to the south of the existing course of the river through Fishermans Bend, to allow access from the Port of Melbourne to Yarraville. The boundaries were the canal on the south, the Maribyrnong River on the west and the Yarra River on the north and east. Once formed, the island became an industrial area of 97 hectares. The island was named after Sir John Coode, an English harbour engineer who was engaged by the Melbourne Harbour Trust to select the optimum route for the canal as part of the Port of Melbourne. The former course of the Yarra River was slowly filled in over the years, along with the associated swamps, and by the mid-20th century, Coode Island was no longer a true island, although the name remained.

By 1909 the area was being used as an animal quarantine station and after 1915 as a sanatorium for victims of bubonic plague and other contagious diseases. By the 1920s the area was inhabited by hermits living in huts and abandoned ships. In 1927 the Larkin Aircraft Supply Company had set up operations on the island, including a factory and aerodrome, which was used until World War II.

In 1960 the area began being used for the storage of petrochemicals. In 1968 the Swanson Dock container terminal was constructed on the south side of the former island, which reduced the size of Coode Island.

On 21 August 1991 at the Anchor Tank facility St Elmos Fire ignited one of the storage tanks, resulting in the Coode Island explosion. About 8.5 million litres of chemicals including acrylonitrile and benzene burned, creating a toxic cloud over nearby residential suburbs, which was dispersed by strong winds.

Proposals were made to move the facility to Point Lillias near Geelong, but environmental and Aboriginal heritage concerns thwarted the plans. In 2000 the Bracks Government announced that Coode Island would be the site of Victoria's major petrochemical storage facility, with six companies leasing the facility from the Melbourne Port Authority.


Map - Coode Island

Latitude / Longitude : 37° 48' 52" S / 144° 54' 34" E | Time zone : UTC+11:0 / UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Coode Island--After 1892

After 1892
Coode Island--Coode Island from the Yarra River

Coode Island from the Yarra River

Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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