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Big unions may help fix hall

Saturday, 5th March, 2016

By Erica Visser

The rain this week pushed the problem of the Trades Hall’s leaking roof to the forefront of BIC President Danny O’Connor’s mind.

The damaged electrical wiring and roofing will take top priority during a meeting of the Trades Hall Trust on March 15, where it will finally resolve to take action on the matter.

Mr O’Connor said it was likely the trust would resolve to approach larger unions, such as Unions NSW, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the CFMEU, to help fund the repairs which were estimated at upwards of $300,000.

“We’ll likely produce a letter and send it off to the unions,” he said.

A proposal to turn to online crowdfunding also looked to be a “goer”, Mr O’Connor said, while the trust would once again consider Council’s dollar-for-dollar donation of $20,000.

The donation was previously rejected on the basis the trust had no funds to spare, however it was in the process of seeking out government funding to cover its contribution.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Connor dismissed comments by Dr Steve Flecknoe-Brown, in a letter farewelling the city published in the BDT yesterday.

Dr Flecknoe-Brown suggested the BIC stop asserting “unfettered control” of the historic building, so governments and members of the public can invest in saving the “national treasure”.

“Well, obviously Flecknoe-Brown doesn’t know the full details and really doesn’t have his finger on the pulse,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The hall was built by the union membership Of course it is a building we are in charge of and we’ve got to look after it.

“He’s leaving town and that was one of his comments among others, but whether we take notice of it is another thing.”

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