Iconic Trades Hall bid for World Heritage listing moves closer

The historic Trades Hall building right here in Broken Hill has had its nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List move on to the next phase.

The Trade Hall is Broken Hill’s most historically significant building. Built between 1898 and 1905, it has housed the home of the union movement in Broken Hill since its official opening on January 12, 1899.

Designed by Broken Hill architect Tom Jackson, it is Victorian in style and stands largely untouched from its original design and is hugely prominent near the centre of town.

Interestingly, it was the first building south of the equator to be built and owned entirely by unions.

An international effort led by the Danish to get the building world heritage listed sees five assembly halls on the proposal list include two from Australia.

Mayor Tom Kennedy has kicked our local nomination along by lobbying both state and federal MPS, including MP for Parkes Mark Coulton, Member for Barwon Roy Butler, Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin, Minister for Western NSW, Dugald Saunders, and Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek.

“It’s one of our most magnificent buildings,” the Mayor said.

The importance of the nomination cannot be understated and will require support from all tiers of government, and move to reinforce Broken Hill and its international prominence as a heritage city.

“I am really confident that others will accept how great the building is and how much it meant to the labour movement,” says the Mayor.

How valuable it will be to Broken Hill on the world stage cannot be underestimated. It has been a concerted push from several major figures in town.

“Diana and Roz Ferry of the Barrier Industrial Council and some others have been pushing for it for some time,” said Mayor Kennedy.

The values that saw Broken Hill listed on the National Heritage List correlate with the values stated in the Danish UNESCO World Heritage List proposal.

The five assembly halls that have joined in partnership for this international initiative alongside ther Trades Hall are The Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne, Paasitorni Helsinki in Finland, The Workers Assembly Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark and Feestlokaal van Vooruit Ghent in Belgium.

The UNESCO nomination listing is significant to Broken Hill as it embraces and promotes the city which was placed on the National heritage List by the Australian Government back in 2014.

It remains the only city in Australia to receive that honour.
If the lobbying efforts of the Mayor are successful, and support from the state and federal government can be secured – it will go a long way to ensuring Broken Hill’s rightful place on the esteemed list of UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites.

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