“BHP where are you?”
Wednesday, 21st January, 2015
By Andrew Robertson
Decades after it moved out of the city never to return, BHP will be asked to sit down with City Council and come up with a “package to assist the town in its heritage recognition”.
The mining giant was mentioned in less than glowing terms during yesterday’s announcement that Broken Hill had become the nation’s first heritage city.
“BHP where are you?” asked Mayor Wincen Cuy during his address yesterday.
He said Council would pursue the company that was founded in Broken Hill with “tenacity and enthusiasm” until “they contribute back to the diversification of our economy”.
His remarks drew a swift response from Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who promptly returned to the microphone to make a promise to the city.
“Before the week is out ... we will approach BHP and we will ask them to sit with the council and we will not stop until they agree to work with the council on a package to assist the town in its heritage recognition, given that so much of their heritage was built on the back of this great town and city,” Mr Hunt said.
The minister’s comments drew loud applause from the crowd.
Later Mr Hunt told media that he was “quietly confident” the government could get BHP to come to the table.
His confidence was shared by Farrer MP and Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley, who said there was “no doubt this is a listing for BHP almost as much as it is for Broken Hill”.
She said the government would ask BHP for “active support in building further acknowledgement, recognition, facilities and capacity for this amazing city.”