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Fly Neighbourly Advice for the Tasman National Park


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Hybrid diesel-electric shuttle buses at Cradle Mountain - a first for National p


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AFAC Independent Operational Review of the 2018-19 bushfires


Following the 2018-19 bushfires the Tasmanian Government commissioned an independent report by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Council to review the overall response and identify areas where more can be done to improve the State's response andMore

The Sydney Cove


Ramifications of the loss of the Sydney Cove

Hamilton's Grave

Hamilton's Grave

William Clark arrived back in Calcutta in December 1797 to inform Campbell & Clark of the Sydney Cove's loss. Campbell & Clark almost immediately dispatched another speculative cargo on the Hunter which reached Port Jackson on 10 June 1798. Also on board was Robert Campbell who finalised the affairs of the Sydney Cove. Shortly after Robert Campbell's arrival in Port Jackson, Captain Hamilton died and was buried in Sydney on 20 June 1798.

Robert Campbell was obviously an astute businessman and realised that the best way to maximise the profitability of the speculative voyages was to have the ability to store newly arrived merchandise so as not to swamp the small colonial market thus driving down demand. To this end, he arranged for an agent to purchase suitable land on which to build berthing and storage facilities.

In addition, due to the prolonged payment terms often negotiated and the associated difficulties in transferring profits out of the fledgling colony, Robert Campbell had no choice but to engage in further speculation and investment in the colony. As a result of these activities he became one of the most prominent merchants in the colony.

Portrait of Robert Campbell

Portrait of Robert Campbell
(Mitchell Library)

The wreck and subsequent salvage of the Sydney Cove served to focus the attention of the colonial authorities on the southern coastline and just how little reliable information they had about the area. Matthew Flinders and George Bass convinced Governor Hunter that another expedition to the area was required. They departed Port Jackson on 7 October 1798 in the 21 ton sloop Norfolk along with 8 crewmen. By the end of the voyage on 12 January 1799, Bass and Flinders had completed the first circumnavigation of Tasmania and proven the existence of the strait which was named in Bass' honour.

During the salvage of the Sydney Cove large numbers of seals were observed throughout the Bass Strait islands. By October 1798, Captain Charles Bishop of the Nautilus had set up sealing operations at Kent Bay on Cape Barren Island. The overall result of this short lived industry was that it became far more attractive for vessels to trade out to the colony as they knew they would be able to sail east with a valuable commodity rather than in ballast.