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    CFMEU Green Ban strengthens Save Our Sirius campaign

    Nathan Johnson

    Protesters will march from Sydney’s Customs House to The Rocks on Saturday with one common goal, to Save Our Sirius.  

    And those participating in the protest to save Tao Gofer’s Sirius public housing building from demolition can now walk with an extra spring in their step, after the construction union announced on Wednesday that it will support the movement by placing a Green Ban on the development.

    The Green Ban means no unionised work force is allowed on the site and is welcomed news for the SOS campaign which has quickly gathered pace since the start of August when the NSW Government announced it would deny the brutalist social housing building a heritage listing and sell it off to the highest bidder for redevelopment.

    The news is just the tip of the iceberg for SOS which is fighting hard to get a heritage listing for the building. The campaign also recently reached its target in an online crowdfunding campaign which has so far raised over $35,000 to be used for legal fees in a court action against the NSW Government’s decision to reject the heritage overlay.

    Comedians Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst from Man About the House also recently held a successful show inside the building to raise awareness about the building’s architectural merit and secure dollars for foundation trying to save it.

    The recently re-elected Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore has also publicly supported the campaign which now has a dedicate Sirius website which can be found here.

    A REPEAT OF HISTORY                  

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    Long-time environmental activist Jack Mundey being detained in The Rocks during the Green Bans of the early 1970s. Image: SMH

    SOS will hope the CFMEU’s Green Ban will be a case of repeated history in The Rocks, where a similar, albeit larger, predicament was overcome back in the early 1970s. A Green Ban from the then Builders Labourers Federation union effectively stopped a state government plan to demolish the historic buildings in The Rocks and Millers Point to make way for high-rise tower developments. The Green Ban was lifted after the government met a few demands of the BLF, one of them being the construction of a public housing block called Sirius.

    The CFMEU support however is less about protecting the architectural merit of Sirius as it is about supporting the displaced tenants of the Sirius building and nearby Millers Point community. It says that Green Ban could be lifted if the state government agreed to rebuild public housing on the site.

    JOIN THE MARCH

    The Save Our Sirius Protest Rally will take place Saturday 17 September at 11:30am, beginning at Customs House in Circular Quay and finishing at Sirius.

    All are welcome and you can join the Facebook Page here.

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