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Headframe ‘has to go’

Wednesday, 22nd September, 2010

Perilya said City Council’s new Local Environmental Plan was restrictive and has asked for its Southern Cross Infrastructure, including this headframe, to be removed from the LEP. Perilya said City Council’s new Local Environmental Plan was restrictive and has asked for its Southern Cross Infrastructure, including this headframe, to be removed from the LEP.

Perilya will have to submit a development application to undertake work at its Southern Operations after Council said it was not easily able to remove some parts of the mine from its new local environmental plan. 

The mining company asked the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) to help it have the heritage listing of the Southern Cross Shaft infrastructure, including the headframe and the winder, removed from City Council’s LEP as it said it was restrictive and could lead to the premature closure ofthe mine.

Perilya told the department in a letter on August 2 that eventually the head frame would need to be demolished and the existing winders removed. This would happen, Perilya said, as part of the mining process where advances in technology and regulatory standards drive change. 

“The restrictive nature of the LEP threatens to limit this essential aspect of the mining industry and may in all probability lead to premature closure of the mine,” Perilya’s local general manager Andrew Lord said in the letter. “Perilya understands that (the infrastructure) ... (has) moderate heritage value and that .... (it) can be adequately preserved by way of pictorial record.” 

Council’s LEP is currently under review. Part of the LEP’s aim is to protect and conserve areas of heritage significance.But Council said the removal of the infrastructure from the plan was time consuming and was not likely to succeed.

“To remove the listing from the (LEP) would require Council endorsement and the Department of Planning agreement to the LEP amendment, and ... this is not considered likely,” Council told Perilya in a letter on July 27.

“It should be noted that even if the Department of Planning was to agree to such an amendment, the process can be expected to take at least two years to complete with no guarantee of success.” Instead Council told Perilya it could submit a development application for the proposed work as it would be quicker.

The Southern Cross infrastructure is considered by the DEWHA to be of moderate national heritage significance, while City Council considers it to be one of 356 local items of significance. The DEWHA said it did not “foresee any difficulty with the proposal to replace the Southern Cross Shaft, Headframe and Winderhouse”.

“DEWHA understands that a replacement for the New Broken Hill Consolidated (NBHC) haulage shaft will be required at some future time,” the department said in a letter to City Council on August 13. “Recommissioning the Southern Cross shaft by the replacement of the headframe and winders would ensure that Perilya’s Southern Operations are able to continue for the remainder of the current life of mine, estimated to be more than 10 years.

“Continuation of mining activity is one of the principal identified National Heritage values of the City of Broken Hill. “DEWHA accepts the fact that to maintain mining activity will necessitate the loss of some heritage fabric.”

City Council said it would consider this and the significance of the infrastructure locally before it would make a decision if Perilya decided to submit a DA. Meanwhile City Council was last night to nominate two representatives for the ongoing discussions on the nomination of the city of Broken Hill to the National Heritage List.

The nomination, which was submitted by Council in 2005, has not yet been adopted by DEWHA. A meeting of key stakeholders, including City Council and DEWHA will soon take place in the city.

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