Matrix-bound phosphine (MBP) has been measured in sediment from two cores in Lake Illawarra on the south east coast of Australia. The sediments were also dated in the upper layers. MBP concentrations found range from 142 to 1813ngkg-1, dw (dry weight of sediment) with some values being amongst the highest ever measured. Values of MBP in deeper sediments were higher than for near surface samples, but the patterns with depth were not consistent. Strong correlations were noted between MBP and organic phosphorus (OP, r>0.8) and with total phosphorus (TP, r>0.7), but only moderate correlations were found with organic carbon (OC, r>0.5). No correlations were found between MBP concentrations and the age of the sediments. It was confirmed that high MBP concentrations are indicative of a phosphorus rich environment. The results tend to support the premise that MBP is generated by microbial attack on OP under anaerobic conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.