Walking from Tempe Station to my work on Carrington Road I cross through a park and for as long as I can remember since I started taking this route to my work on a recommendation that it was quicker (two years), there has been a construction site in the park. The site in question is the Marrickville Drainage Pumping Station (I only recently realised) and it’s getting an upgrade. However that being said it has been quite a while since I last saw any activity there or anyone, it looks like something of an abandoned junkyard (minus the menacing guard dog).
The site is small. There are two big blue tanks just outside the perimeter of the site, which is roughly square in shape and surrounded by a brick and black metal fence shrouded in semi-transparent green fabric. The entrance gate is solid green corrugated iron, like most of the fence it is bedecked with signs that either inform, warn off or direct, such as the sign DANGER, OPEN PIT that is emblazoned on the front. A few of the signs are faded or possibly damaged. On the one side of the fence where the green shroud is more transparent you can see pallets of wood, large pieces of piping and metal lying around equally abandoned, there is a rusty shipping container, the grass is long and the door and windows of the small demountable building in the site are always locked. However I couldn’t see the open pit from the outside!
It begs the question what are they waiting (or stalling) for? Just on the fabrication of a particular rare part? Or more government funding? Which understandably might take some time (if it comes at all).
What led me to discovering it was one the signs of the site that said Marrickville Drainage Pumping Station. The second thing I noticed was the smell, it was that same salty dank scent, always pungent and familiar. Though this time it was very subtle, I had to be up quite close to the fence before I got a whiff of it. The third thing I noticed was the noise, that there was none. Not just from the lack of construction and people, but from the drainage pump itself. In Marrickville there are a lot of construction noises from the surrounding areas, forklift sirens, hammering, jackhammering, drilling, banging and the list goes on. Not to mention the planes that fly overhead, so it is a welcome relief when a place is quiet.