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City glowing following heritage listing

Thursday, 22nd January, 2015

The city’s heritage listing has generated plenty of excitement, with many forecasting a range of benefits ranging from improved funding to a boost in tourism.

One local who was more pleased than most with the listing was Council’s former Manager of Sustainability, Peter Oldsen, who was instrumental in creating and driving the proposal from its earliest stages.

Mr Oldsen’s contribution to the project was not forgotten during Tuesday’s formalities at the Town Hall facade where Mayor Wincen Cuy spoke glowingly of his efforts.

After the ceremony Mr Oldsen admitted that it was personally satisfying to see the listing come to fruition, but he preferred to focus on the benefits that could now come to the city.

“I’ve been working on this project for more than 10 years, as we were putting the nomination together before (2005),” he said.

“It’s a great announcement, fantastic for the city and just recognition for the part Broken Hill has played in nation building, and everyone should be celebrating this day.

“Perhaps we should have a national holiday or something? Perhaps a Broken Hill holiday?” he laughed.

“But no, what a fantastic decision, and just recognition.”

Mr Oldsen said the impact of the listing would be wide ranging, and could provide a welcome tourism boost. 

“It’s got to be significant to publicise Broken Hill as the only city to be heritage listed in the entire country. Perhaps it will change perceptions,” he said.

“Perhaps it will make people want to visit Broken Hill as a destination - put it on everyone’s bucket list to bring your kids out here and immerse yourself in the history and heritage of the place.

“If it gets that national recognition, that’s certainly got to mean some exposure to the rest of the population. It might bring forward (their) plans to come and visit us.”

Councillors were equally enthusiastic about the city’s prospects after the listing, with Jim Richards welcoming the link to BHP Billiton.

“The event went really well, it’s a great announcement for our city, and it was a great reply from the minister,” he said.

“The big thing people will be talking about is bringing BHP back to Broken Hill, and getting them around the table and seeing how they’d like to contribute and partner with us for the heritage city listing.”

Councillor Dave Gallagher said the listing would rightfully be a source of great pride for all in the Silver City.

“I reckon it’s fantastic for the city... the only city that’s been given that honour,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be great for tourism, the economy and Broken Hill in general.

“We can stand out proud like we always do... it’s a fantastic thing.

Meanwhile fellow councillor Jim Nolan said it could provide a financial boost when lobbying for crucial projects to beautify the city and enhance its reputation.

“It’s fantastic to finally make it onto the heritage list. It puts us right up there with the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“It will give us increased presence on the map of Australia, but also with grant funding possibilities that come with it.

“It’s so hard to get funding from both state and federal tiers of government, but this opens a door as City Council, and as the city of Broken Hill, to do good things without looking in our own pockets first and saying ‘can we afford it?’

“We partner with the state and federal government with the listing, and it opens up those possibilities for Broken Hill.”

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