The Sirius building and its place in the ‘green bans’ story
February 8, 2018
6:00 pm
- WEA Building, 72 Bathurst Street Sydney 2000

6.00 – 9.00 pm

Over the past couple of years or so, the future of one of Sydney’s most interesting modern buildings has been the subject of much public debate, political skirmishing, a controversial ministerial decision and a court judgement which effectively told the minister that he had got it wrong. The building in question is The Sirius, in the The Rocks – built as social housing in the 1970s but now the target of a state-government sell-off proposal. Those advocating its preservation have the support of the powerful CFMEU trade union which has placed a ‘green ban’ on government moves to sell and redevelop the landmark property.

This talk will take the Sirius controversy as a case study of the green ban movement – a movement which was born in the 1970s when the CFMEU’s predecessor union (the Builder’s Labourers Federation) under its charismatic leader Jack Mundey placed a green ban on the entire area of The Rocks, thereby saving it for posterity. It is a remarkable story, and one which has lessons for today as grass-roots activism once again emerges in this historic precinct.

Bookings essential  Book online or phone 02 92687530


About the Speaker

Jim Colman is a Sydney based architect, planners and part-time University lecturer. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Planning Institute of Australia and has served as Vice President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. His book  The House that Jack Built (NewSouth Books) was published in 2017.