• Green bans in place to stop CBD becoming a preserve of the wealthy
  • No unionised workforce will take part in the Sirius demolition
  • Protest rally 11.30am Saturday 17 September, Customs House Forecourt 

Construction workers are throwing their weight behind inner city residents at risk of eviction by placing green bans on any re-development of the Sirius building at Millers Point.

It follows similar bans put in place on the $38 million renovation plan for Bondi Pavillion which unions fear is just a plan to privatise public space.

Green bans have a long and proud heritage. The CFMEU and its predecessors have helped preserve historic parts of Sydney, such as Kelly’s Bush at Hunters Hill, and the grand terraces of Darlinghurst. Prime public land and housing for working people have also been saved.

CFMEU President Rita Mallia said 40 years ago NSW builders stood with the community to save The Rocks and now they stand with them again.

“The Sirius building is not only an important piece of architectural history – it is one of the last areas of public housing in the district. The removal of residents from Millers Point to make way for the city’s elite shows us what will happen if Sirius falls. The top end of town will move in and working people will be moved out putting multi-billion dollar projects ahead of green spaces and affordable housing. We can’t let that happen.

Barney Gardner has lived in The Rocks since he was born and remembers the initial green bans of the 1970s that led to the building of Sirius.

But at 67 he fears he’s being forced out of his home and his close knit community to live out the rest of his life alone.

“We’ve lived in these homes for over 100 years. We have a sense of place here. To move us to the suburbs now would mean losing our sense of place and community.

“We fought to protect our community then and we’ll continue to fight for it now. We need to save it for the working class.”

Barney said the residents of Millers Point are extremely grateful for the union movement’s support.

“It builds our spirits every day knowing that we are not alone in the struggle to protect public housing.”

Join Barney and others at a save our Sirius protest rally, 11.30am, Saturday 17 September at Customs House Forecourt.

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