The area has operated since the nineteenth century for water-based transport and industrial uses. In conjunction with adjacent Glebe Island it has been a multipurpose port, owned and controlled by the Government of New South Wales since 1901. It caters for container handling, break bulk cargo (timber, paper, motor vehicles and steel) and dry bulk cargoes (cement, sugar, gypsum, aggregates, etc.).
The White Bay Hotel  was a historic hotel on Victoria Road. It was first built in 1861, rebuilt in 1916, and refurbished in 1925 and 1933. It finally closed in 1992, \"landlocked\" by roads and with no local workers. Until 2004 it served only as a platform for billboards advertising to traffic on the Western Distributor, and on 5 September 2008 was destroyed by a suspicious fire and immediately demolished. The NSW state government bought the site in June 2010.
The rubble was removed on 29 October 2010 and the block levelled.
For 25 years from 1971 to just before her death in 1996, one of Sydney\'s true characters, Beatrice (\"Beattie\") Bush, sold papers to passing motorists at the junction of The Crescent (City West Link) and Victoria Road. Every morning in all weather, wearing Balmain Tigers socks and running shoes, Beatrice was part of the drive to work for thousands of motorists.
The 1984 song The White Bay Paper Seller by Judy Small was written about Beatrice. The 1986 painting Beatrice the Paper-Seller of the White Bay Intersection by Susan Dorothea White shows Beatrice Bush running between the cars and trucks, selling newspapers in the rain. The 2004 documentary, The Paper Queen by Julie Nebauer documented her life. In 2005 a new cycle bridge crossing Victoria Road at the intersection of The Crescent was named the Beatrice Bush Bridge in her honour. Her newspaper trolley, hat, gloves and other clothing items are held in the Powerhouse Museum collection in Sydney.
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- Suburb:White Bay