Places of the Tamar: Bell Bay

Places of the Tamar: Bell Bay

Just south of George Town lies the river port and industrial centre of Northern Tasmania, Bell Bay.  

Lying in deep sheltered waters, Bell Bay offers excellent road and rail links. It is approximately 2,000 hectares or 20 km square in size making it Tasmania’s largest heavy industrial area. 

On an average year, over 3 million tonnes of exports and imports pass through Bell Bay making it an extremely important component of Tasmania’s economy. 

Operated by Tas Ports, Bell Bay features an aluminium smelter operated by Rio Tinto, and many established businesses both local and multi-national such as South 32 TEMCO, Timberlink, Sims Metal and the nearby Tamar Valley Power Station. 

The first Bell Bay wharf was opened in 1927. Today it has seven berths including Long Reach South. 

With Rio Tinto, George Town Council and the State Government working together to boost employment and growth prospects in the region while keeping an eye firmly on renewable energy and environmental outcomes, it can’t be disputed that Bell Bay is an integral part of the Northern Tasmanian economy, providing 1000’s of jobs, apprenticeships, and opportunities for many Tasmanians. 

Companies like Rio Tinto continue to provide a number of generous grants which is greatly appreciated by many local sporting and community groups. 

For this writer, who grew up nearby industrial estates in Perth, W.A and Yorkshire, England the area evokes strong memories of a working class/blue collar upbringing. That familiar metallic smell that fills the air and the rhythm of machines echoing throughout the working day that suggests a thriving local economy. 

Beautifully positioned on the banks of the East Tamar and with all the conveniences that nearby George Town and Low Head have to offer, Bell Bay is a fantastic place to do business, work and become part of a thriving community. 

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