National Heritage Assessment
Australian Heritage Council
The names of individual assessors and nominators have been removed for privacy reasons
About this assessment
The Australian Heritage Council found Cockatoo Island of outstanding national heritage significance. Established in 1839 by Governor George Gipps as a place of hard labour, the island contains most of the original buildings which convicts in irons built from sandstone they quarried on the island. Cockatoo Island was the only place in the convict system established specifically for hard labour, and contains Australia's only remaining group of convict-built rock-cut underground silos. Cockatoo Island is also significant as the site of Australia's longest operating dry dock, Fitzroy Dock. In continuous service for over 130 years (1857-1991), Fitzroy Dock, provided the Royal Navy with the capability to dock ships, previously not possible in the South Pacific, and was developed into Australia's primary shipbuilding facility, and the Royal Australian Navy's first Dockyard. With the fall of Singapore in 1942 (Britain's main naval facility in the region), Fitzroy Dock assumed a vital role in the Pacific theatre in the Second World War
The Council's final assessment report as given to the Minister is attached.
In some cases the Minister will have made amendments to such matters as boundaries, values and descriptions, before listing the place. For final listing data visit the Australian Heritage Database or the National Heritage Listing for Cockatoo Island Convict Site .
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