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Main St beauty spots

Saturday, 30th January, 2016

The design plan for a series a mining-themed public spaces known as ‘parklets’, which will be constructed at Argent Street intersections using money donated by BHP Billiton. The design plan for a series a mining-themed public spaces known as ‘parklets’, which will be constructed at Argent Street intersections using money donated by BHP Billiton.

By Erica Visser

BHP cash helps put little parks in Argent Street

It took a $100,000 consultant from “away” to point out that Broken Hill should cash in on its unique street names.

But now that a “shovel ready” plan is in place and BHP Billiton has shelled out millions of dollars, City Council is ready to let the beautification begin.

Mayor Wincen Cuy applauded the funding for the proposal to create public spaces linked to the mining-themed names of the streets which intersect with Argent Street.

The ‘parklets’ will be colour-coded to reflect the relevant mineral, with its properties and uses evident in the paving, seating and artwork. 

The “bold and courageous vision” was developed by Sydney consultant AJ+C as part of a wider CBD plan which also featured proposals to turn the Line of Lode into a giant ‘disco ball’ using pieces of mirror, and to centrally relocate the library.

“It took someone from away to say, ‘Why don’t you use the unique naming of your streets to explore tourism?” Mayor Cuy said during a speech on Thursday morning.

Council has proudly splashed the plan on its website and social media pages following CBH’s announcement of $5.7 million, which would be also used to upgrade the city’s archives.

It was so far not known how the money would be split between the two projects, a Council spokesman said yesterday.

The public spaces will aim to provide a historical understanding of the minerals and “unearth the elements of the mineralogical rainforest” that led to the city’s prestigious national heritage listing.

Mayor Wincen Cuy said that the two projects would allow the city to begin to  diversify away from mining - although he believed the age-old industry would always be locally present.

“Looking at these two tourism aspects shows that (BHP) has really understood where we need to go as a community to forge our existence moving into the future.

“The diversification of the city really needs to take a leap forward. We said 12 months ago with the heritage listing that was a catalyst to be able to take the city forward.

“We believe with this announcement along with the announcement of ($5 million in state funding) for the Civic Centre that we can actually start to really build on our tourism market.”

And the city wasn’t focusing on attracting just anybody in its bid to become a world class tourism destination, according Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.

“It’s not just the average mum or dad or grey nomad; there’s a significant conference market that’s a global market and they will come to places that have a story to tell.”

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