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Top tourist spot ‘ideal office space’

Tuesday, 1st April, 2014

The Broken Earth restaurant, once a premier tourist attraction, might soon be open only to people with information about wild cats The Broken Earth restaurant, once a premier tourist attraction, might soon be open only to people with information about wild cats

By Craig Brealey

The restaurant with the best views in town might soon become the next Broken Hill landmark to be consumed by the government bureaucracy.

“The Broken Earth” restaurant atop the Line of Lode closed almost four months ago and, with the local owners having received no offers of interest from private enterprise, the State Government appears set to step in.

The restaurant sits on a mining lease on Crown Land and the NSW Government is offering to lease the building and convert it to offices for the Feral Cat Eradication Authority (FCEA).

The FCEA investigates reports of wild cat outbreaks and is the first point of contact for farmers, graziers and others concerned about the destruction of native wildlife.

The city has never had a feral cat office before, despite it being surrounded by sheep and cattle properties and national parks, so the move “makes a lot of sense,” said a spokesman for the NSW Environment Minister, Tom Skinner.

However, several grand buildings in the city have fallen into government hands over the years and none have returned to private ownership.

Most recently the Miners Arms hotel in Crystal Street (built in 1888) became a Medicare office, the city’s oldest hotel, The Silver King, is a health facility and BHP founder Charles Rasp’s boyhood home in Blende Street is now a public toilet.

Mr Skinner did not wish to reveal when the Feral Cat Eradication Authority office might open nor what it was offering to pay to lease the restaurant.

But he said that the government was also considering whether to have the FCEA share the building with other government department offices as a way of defraying the costs. 

The government is in the process of moving its bureaucracy out of Sydney and Mr Skinner said that Broken Hill could be the ideal place to host the Woody Weed Protection Authority and an office attached to the Ministry of Wild Dogs.

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