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from 1832 to 1974. Facilities had been provided to isolate whole shiploads of passengers and crew after their long voyages from other continents, should they be found to be carrying contagious diseases. Accomodation was provided according to the standards of the P & O Line. More than forty wooden buildings were divided between quarters for First, Second and Third Class Passengers; Crew and Asian Crew.

With the advent of large scale air travel in the 1960s, the number of people arriving by sea fell off dramatically. At the same time, the incidence of pestilence overseas decreased, and modern methods of isolating and treating infectious diseases no longer required isolation on a remote site. There was no longer any likelyhood that a liner crammed with migrants would fly a yellow flag and disembark at North Head.

The Commonwealth Department of Health allowed the station to run down, with only a token staff. With no worthwhile maintenance carried out for ten years, the wooden buildings had reached a point where their deterioration would soon be irreversible. The buildings had great heritage value, many being more than a hundred years old.

There was an understanding between the Commonwealth and State Governments that the Quarantine Station would be eventually handed over to form part of the national park on North Head. However, the transfer

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