Renewed Torpedo Factory Opens at Sub Base Platypus

Visitors and Sydneysiders can now enjoy a new harbourside precinct with the opening of the rejuvenated Torpedo Factory building at Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney.

This marks a major milestone in the rehabilitation of the former site which operated as a gas works, torpedo maintenance factory and a submarine base for the Royal Australian Navy’s Oberon-class submarines.

The revitalised Torpedo Factory was made possible by $18.55 million from the federal government and includes a spectacular new vantage point overlooking Neutral Bay. The original building’s important heritage elements, including its iconic saw-tooth roof are retained.

It also features a three-piece artwork by Dennis Golding, a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist recognising and honouring the site’s connection to its Traditional Owners, the Cammeraygal people.

A new storytelling space features historical artefacts encouraging visitors to engage with the site’s multi-storied past.

Members of the public are invited to a community day on Saturday 16 September between 10am and 3pm to celebrate the opening and enjoy performances, talks, artmaking, guided tours and fun for the kids.

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Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“It would be hard to think of place in this country more steeped in the various chapters of Australia’s heritage than Sydney Harbour.  

“Today’s reopening means that the public can now access another iconic heritage landmark on Sydney Harbour which preserves an important part of Sydney’s industrial and military past.

“Creating this beautiful new public space on Sydney Harbour is a concrete demonstration of what we can do when we restore our history and make it accessible to the people of Sydney, and to the people of the world.

“That’s why in the May budget, our government invested an additional $45.2 million in our magnificent harbour properties to make sure they can be enjoyed by our kids and grandkids.”

Quotes attributable to Janet Carding, Executive Director, Harbour Trust:

“The rejuvenation of the Torpedo Factory marks the next step of an 18-year journey since Sub Base Platypus was handed to the Harbour Trust for the purpose of rehabilitating and revitalising the site.

“The Harbour Trust has consulted extensively with the community about the renewal of Sub Base Platypus, with a view to transforming the former industrial complex into a waterfront public domain where historic spaces are revealed, re-imagined and activated through cultural, recreational and work uses.

“We look forward to welcoming back the community and visitors to the renewed Torpedo Factory, where they can learn more about the site’s history and its significance.”

Quotes attributable to Alison Page, Acting Chair, Harbour Trust:

“Protecting the heritage of our sites, including Sub Base Platypus, involves not just preserving physical structures but also weaving together First Nations stories and perspectives that speak to all Australians.”