Children play on the banks of a stream west of Sydney where the Parramatta River begins. A coloured beach ball tossed into the stream floats down the waterway which becomes a river then runs into Sydney Harbour. As the beach ball floats past the city of Parramatta, the voice-over outlines Governor Arthur Phillip’s navigation of the river in 1788 after the arrival of the First Fleet.
An aerial view shows the two major bridges spanning the waterways – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the old Gladesville Bridge. Over heavy road and river traffic surrounding the old Gladesville Bridge, narration explains the need for a new bridge. Excavation work for the New Gladesville Bridge on the riverbanks concludes the clip.
This clip is from the opening minutes of the film and illustrates the importance of relieving congestion on the old Gladesville Bridge. For the general viewer about to watch 30 minutes of bridge construction in minute detail, this is a way to engage their attention. At the time, viewers would have been well aware of the congestion problems of the old Gladesville Bridge and would therefore have had a vested interest in what this urban construction plan would achieve.