Footscray Wharves and Environs

Port Phillip Mills

Work at Port Phillip Mills on bales of wool

Port Phillip Mills is an example of the type of large scale industry to be found here on the wharves. It was built in 1920 over an old quarry.

Wool was brought to Port Phillip Mills in bales then sorted and scoured before being sent to the textile mills, producing lanoline as a by-product. Later the place was expanded to include dying and recombing.

Port Phillip Mills was particularly important during the Second World War when operations went on 24 hours a day from 1939 to 1945. It was turned over to defence requirements and the product of the factory was made into uniforms for soldiers, sailors and airmen.

More than three hundred people were employed here at one time. One of the features of this area was the large scale of the industries. During the height of its production the Port Phillip Mills processed 33,000 bales of wool annually according to an article in Footscray’s First Hundred Years.

The Mills have closed down along with most of the other manufacturing industries in the area. Now the factory has been replaced by a group of townhouses with a river view.

Work at port Phillip Mills