Long-awaited announcement expected
Monday, 19th January, 2015
By Erica Visser
Confirmation that Broken Hill has become the first city to be included on the National Heritage List is expected tomorrow.
Following almost 10 years of lobbying and numerous setbacks, Federal Minister for Environment Greg Hunt will fly into the city tomorrow and attend a civic reception at the Town Hall facade in his honour.
The reason for Mr Hunt’s visit has been kept under wraps, with BH Mayor Wincen Cuy refusing to comment despite sending out invitations to dozens of guests late last week.
But long-term advocate for heritage listing and Caledonian Bed and Breakfast owner Hugh Gough - who was aåmong those to receive an email inviting him to a civic reception for Mr Hunt - straight away guessed what it was about.
“I had to make the assessment that he’s coming to announce the heritage listing of the city. It’s just fantastic,” Mr Gough said.
“It’s certainly true that I have spent a lot of my energies and a lot of my efforts in endeavouring that this happens and that the community is absolutely prepared for the effects it will have.”
Mr Gough said he couldn’t understand why the minister and City Council were keeping fiercely tight-lipped ahead of the announcement.åç
“I really don’t understand why we’re being so bloody secretive about it. The best way to maximise it is to let people know.
“We should be blocking off Argent Street and having a giant party on Tuesday!”
Environmental lawyer Simon Molesworth, who was behind the original bid for Broken Hill as a heritage city, would be another attendee at the event.
“I can agree there’s a lot of speculation,” Mr Molesworth told the BDT on Friday.
“I will have my speeches ready for next Tuesday.”
It was originally thought that the announcement would happen by Christmas.
Mayor Wincen Cuy said earlier this month that he was surprised it was yet to occur.
“I know there was a very intense consultation process in place - I thought it might have been resolved quicker,” he said.
“I’m sure it will happen in the not too distant future.”
It was hoped the heritage listing would draw tourists to the city and cement Broken Hill’s status as a must-see destination.
Mr Hunt’s office was contacted for comment on Friday.