PS Industry history
The P.S. Industry was built in Goolwa and commissioned in January 1911 as a workboat for the SA Engineering & Water Supply Department. During her work life, the vessel played a major role in keeping the river open for traffic by removing snags and later in the construction of locks and weirs.
During the 1956 flood the PS Industry ‘stood by’ with steam up for several days ready for any emergency during those critical days of the flood when a total evacuation of Renmark appeared imminent.
In 1968, the P.S. Industry was decommissioned following 60 years of service with the E & WS and following a submission to the Premier, Hon. Don Dunstan, the Corporation of the Town of Renmark was allocated the Steamer to be used as an Historic Museum. In 1973, a basin to house the vessel was constructed alongside the Renmark Irrigation Trust’s Pumping Station. The PS Industry opened as a static museum in 1975.
During this time, the vessel proved a popular tourist attraction, however in the late 1980’s the move to restore her to working condition began to gather momentum.
In June 1990, a public meeting was held to gauge the level of interest in the restoration of the P.S. Industry and through this meeting a Friends of the P.S. Industry group was formed to oversee the restoration of the vessel.
The story so far…
During that time the PS Industry appeared as Lady Mabel in the television series ‘The River Kings’, which was adapted from Max Fatchen’s well read novel. The membership base had swelled to 100 and the vessel had undertaken extensive trips to Loxton, Goolwa and Morgan.
Following complications in early 1994, the Friends of the PS Industry and Corporation of Renmark approached the Minister for Transport with regard to securing a loan for final restoration work of the vessel. This would enable the PS Industry to gain its survey standard which was so integral to its operation as a passenger vessel.
What following was almost a year of hard work by volunteers to bring the vessel to survey standard. Modifications such as, replacing steering chains below deck and reinforcing windows were long term jobs done with the assistance of volunteers.
On 16th July 1995, the Minister for Transport Ms Diana Laidlaw re-commissioned the P.S. Industry as an historic passenger type vessel. Since then, the Friends of the P.S. Industry have worked hard to repay their loan to the State Government (which was due to be repaid by 2004) through running cruises and taking charters.
It will be largely thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and community sponsors that the P.S. Industry will be able to be enjoyed by many more
generations of Australian’s.