Site of former market garden – Launceston

Chungon Crescent is located on a steep hill in the suburbs of Launceston and is named after the Chung Gon market gardens that were the main one of three, plus at least two vegetable shops also owned by James Chung Gon from the 1920s through to the 1960s.

James Chung Gon, like so many others, began his life in Tasmania on the tin fields but soon moved into supplying vegetables. In this he became very wealthy with he and his family supplying at their peak most of the vegetables of Launceston. The Chung Gon family became very prominent in Launceston and Tasmania and were often in the social pages of the newspapers, and in at least one case their daughters wedding included the Tasmanian Premier as guest.

Like many market gardens operated by men from China who were not eligible to be citizens James Chung Gon was able to bring in labour from China to work his gardens on the grounds that working in a Chinese market garden was a special case under the White Australia policy. By the 1960s the Chung Gon gardens employed some 20 people, most of them European-Australians. Nevertheless, in 1962 Doris Chung Gon, a daughter of James, also tried to bring in some workers from Hong Kong. However, as an Australian-born person this was not possible.

Chinese-Tasmania – Historical Overview