Monday, 25th January, 2016
By Erica Visser
A couple of lacklustre banners, a belated midday ceremony, and the nation’s first heritage city is ready to celebrate.
Thursday marked one year since the realisation of Broken Hill’s decade-long bid to be added to the prestigious national heritage list, but some are adamant the honour’s been left to fall to the wayside.
Heritage enthusiast Rod Angell has been critical about the first anniversary events.
“I had a gut feeling that Council had forgotten about it,” he said.
“Why else hold it eight days afterwards? Unless the Prime Minister and the Federal Treasurer are coming and bringing their chequebook with them, I can’t see any reason for it to be delayed.”
Council has so far kept the identities of the visiting dignitaries under wraps but it was likely many locals would miss out on seeing them given the ceremony would be held during business hours.
“They always seem to put something on during the day so that people can’t attend. Why not put it on after hours?” Mr Angell said.
“It’s not about the dignitaries; it’s about the people of Broken Hill.”
Others shared the view, whether it be on social media or within the BDT’s Readers Write segment.
Resident Annette Minchin declined Council’s electronic invitation to attend the ceremony within a letter published last week.
“So, have your hot outdoor celebrations in a city that could do so much better, but I for one send my apologies.”
Ms Minchin’s concerns centred around the loss of a dedicated art gallery manager and demise of the Line of Lode assets as a vital tourist site.
Even the pair of banners erected to celebrate the anniversary came under fire on the ‘Broken Hill Australia’s First Heritage City’ Facebook page headed by Mr Angell.
Some locals felt the signs, which were positioned on the Grand Guest House and Post Office Buildings, were too easily missed.
“Is this an April Fool’s joke early?” one social media user wrote, while another considered the display “a pretty poor effort on someone’s part”.
Mr Angell hit out at Mayor Wincen Cuy for allegedly not knowing about the banners’ existence during a radio interview last week.
“If Council did them why is it the mayor didn’t know about it?” he said.
“Again, I think they were put up belatedly in conjunction with the event ... Council weren’t on the ball and had nothing planned.
“These things should have been organised months ago.”