Lake Macquarie History

Cockle Creek Power Station

The City Council of Lake Macquarie acknowledge the Aboriginal people known today as the Awabakal, as the traditional Custodians of the land, respecting Aboriginal Elders past, present and future. Lake Macquarie City Council recognise the local Aboriginal community today in all of their diversity, who came forward to share their experiences, knowledge, images and memories.

The Cockle Creek Power Station, established by Caledonian Collieries Limited, operated between 1927 and 1976. This company had bought out the West Wallsend mine, the Wallsend Colliery and the New-Wallsend Colliery, located at Killingworth, in 1895. They were formed in Scotland, with the intention to mine coal in Australia.

photo: cockle creek power station c. 1970

In 1923 they proposed building a power station at Cockle Creek, in order to supply electricity to all their collieries located in the surrounding areas, and also to provide electrical services to the surrounding townships. By 1924, the location of the power station had already been decided. It was a locality known as ‘steep bank’, on Cockle Creek. It was the only flood free site close to the creek. The building was constructed of concrete, the cement for the construction coming from the Sulphide Works at Cockle Creek.

The power station began operating in 1927. Electricity was generated by two units, once a Bellison Morcome and the other a Scott and Mountain. Maurice George Dewar, a marine steam engineer recently migrated with his young family from London, England, was employed to install the turbines at Cockle Creek Power Station. He was then employed as an engineer to run the power generation after it opened and worked there until his retirement. The plant supplied power to 17 mines. In addition, the power station supplied electricity to all the outlying suburbs of West Wallsend, such as Holmesville and Estelleville (now Cameron Park), and also supplied all of the western side of Lake Macquarie

The power station cost more than a million pounds to build. When the power station opened, the shift engineers who worked there were expected to work 44 hours a week. They received six pounds and sixpence a week.

The power station was owned by Caledonian Collieries Limited until 1960, when ownership shifted to Coal and Allied Limited.

The power station closed on the 6th of March 1976.


1927 'SYDNEY ALDERMEN', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), 25 February, p. 9. , viewed 13 Sep 2018,

1927 'CALEDONIAN COLLIERIES', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), 3 March, p. 6. , viewed 13 Sep 2018,

1927 'POWER-HOUSE DISPUTE', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), 4 March, p. 7. , viewed 13 Sep 2018,

1931 'ENGINEERS' AWARD', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), 1 January, p. 4. , viewed 13 Sep 2018,

1941 'POWER STATIONS LINKED', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), 23 July, p. 3. , viewed 13 Sep 2018,

Fetscher, Mark 2008, The colliery power stations, M. Fetscher], [Charlestown, N.S.W

Turner, John & Lake Macquarie (N.S.W.). Council & C. and M. J. Doring (Firm) & Suters Architects Snell 1993, City of Lake Macquarie heritage study : final report, Suters Architects Snell, Newcastle, N.S.W