Aboriginal use of the region for millennia.
Botany Bay surveyed by British explorers.
First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay for settlement but rejected it in favour of Sydney Harbour.
Bass and Flinders surveyed Georges River.
Timber and lime from shells harvested from Georges River waterways.
Main land use changed from land grant farming to aristocrats for large country estates. In 1832, land grants were replaced by land purchase.
Liverpool Weir built using convict labour.
Proposals to dam Cooks River and Georges River for water supply abandoned.
Railways and tramways built and lower catchment transformed to mainly residential.
Commercially successful oyster cultivation established in the river.
Improved transport made coastal beaches and public pools more popular than rivers for swimming.
Pollution to the river from agricultural runoff, direct inflows of waste from riverside industry, and the open drains and pipes of emerging suburbs.
Pollution, mainly from stormwater, overtook unsustainable harvesting as biggest threat to fishing industry and ecology of waterways.
Construction of Woronora Dam begins, to capture water for supply to Sydney.
Pollution shifted from mostly organic to inorganic pollutants, such as metals.
Large-scale sand mining in middle reaches, creating Chipping Norton Lakes. Reclamation of estuarine shorelines using garbage to build land above the high tide. The image that is currently in that position is of Georges River, Como NSW, believed to be c. 1900. Image courtesy of Georges River Libraries Local Studies Collection.
Middle reaches of Georges River closed for swimming.
NSW State Pollution Control Commission (SPCC) created in 1974, with direct regulatory power over industrial pollution. SPCC became NSW Environmental Protection Agency in 1992
West Cliff coal mine begins operations in the upper Georges River catchment.
Towra Point listed as a Ramsar site.
QX disease reaches the river and decimates cultivation of Sydney Rock Oysters.
Increased implementation of Water Sensitive Urban Design. Studies show stormwater responsible for most pollutants to the river. Licenced and unlicensed industrial discharge and sewerage continue to impact.
Sewage treatment systems, including overflows from pumping stations and reticulation systems licenced by NSW Environment Protection Authority
Georges Riverkeeper begins partnership with NSW Department Justice, Corrective Services.
Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome decimated cultivation of Pacific Oyster in Georges River
Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team project, conservation and land management traineeships. Engagement with Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Elders and knowledge holders, to acknowledge the continuity of Aboriginal culture, community and Country within the urban landscape of Sydney.
Federal Government Green Army conservation program, hands-on environmental conservation projects in the Georges River catchment.
NSW Government introduces the Return and Earn container deposit scheme.
Timeline source: Reid D.J. (2020). A review of intensified land use effects on the ecosystems of Botany Bay and its rivers, Georges River and Cooks River, in southern Sydney, Australia. Regional Studies in Marine Science, volume 39, 101396