THE CFMEU NSW has placed a 'green ban' on the demolition of the Willow Grove and St Georges Terraces buildings in Parramatta, earmarked for destruction by the NSW Government as part of plans for the new Powerhouse Parramatta.
"These green bans mean no work can be done to destroy these historically significant sites," said Darren Greenfield, CFMEU NSW secretary.
"If the Berejiklian government wants work on the museum to proceed they need to sit down with the local community, listen to what they say and come up with a plan that preserves these buildings," he said.
"The local community, through the North Parramatta Residents Action Group, has campaigned for years to save these two heritage buildings and they are supported by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and the Historic Houses Association.
"The CFMEU is proud to stand with the community in support of this important campaign. This is the first green ban the CFMEU has put in place since the recent passing of Jack Mundey who inspired a generation of unionists and community activists to fight for our shared built, cultural, and environmental heritage.
“As shown by the recent success of the green ban on the Bondi Beach Pavilion, the CFMEU won’t stand by while local communities are ignored and important heritage sites are destroyed," Mr Greenfield said.
“Built in the 1870s as a residential home, Willow Grove is a rare remaining example of Victorian Italiante Villa in Parramatta. Many generations of people in the Parramatta community were born there during the three decades it served as a maternity hospital between 1919 and 1953.
“The Berejiklian government has ignored the local community and refused to look at alternative designs that incorporate these two heritage buildings in the design,” said Darren Greenfield.
Suzette Meade, spokesperson for North Parramatta Residents Action Group said, "For four years the community has tried to reason with Premier Berejiklian. Over this time we’ve offered solutions but they have been ignored. We will not stand by and watch as more local heritage is destroyed.
"The Berejiklian government bulldozed Parramatta's war memorial pool, then it was the historic Royal Oak Hotel - a hotel older than Perth. This hotel was knocked down in the dead of night. Premier Berejiklian should be under no illusion; if the destruction of Willow Grove or St Georges Terraces commences people will be prepared to put their bodies in front of machinery," Ms Meade said.
"Jack Mundey saved Sydney's historic Rocks precinct. Jack's recent passing has reminded all of us that to simply be passive will only accelerate the destruction of Australia's heritage and our activities honour Jack Mundey’s legacy," she said.