Broken Hill has been recognised as Australia’s first heritage listed city, having been listed on the National Heritage List alongside the Australian War Memorial, the Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef.
This listing was in recognition of the city’s significant mining history and contribution to the Australian and International mining and resources industry. The listing also recognises Broken Hill’s contribution to industrial relations, with many conditions of employment, including workplace safety originating from Broken Hill. Add to the mix, our innovation, our people, our landscapes and all contribute to the celebration of our heritage.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of our rich mining history is the population decline that has ensued from the peak of over 35,000 people in the 1950’s.
The effects of this mining decline have placed pressure on economic prosperity and job creation. Indigenous populations are increasing, the population is aging and it is hard to attract and retain young people and families.
A smaller population can be just as vibrant, however it comes with its challenges. The need to diversify our economy and the need to address the changes in affordability of our public infrastructure base are both two key challenges for our city.
With what was once the world’s largest ore body slowly coming to the end of its mining life, the population has had to rely on other means of employment to stimulate its economy.
Since the 70’s and 80’s Broken Hill has become increasingly recognised by government, businesses and tourists as being integral to the Outback New South Wales tourism region and it is known for delivering a range of attractions and experiences, linked to mining, heritage, culture and the provision of authentic visitor accommodation.
“When you think of regional Australia, when you think of mining, when you think of the ethos of Australia, you think of Broken Hill” Minister of Environment Greg Hunt
The city welcomes over 150,000 tourists every year. Our recent Heritage Listing is expected to expand these numbers further.
Given the high population of the past, the Council has maintenance responsibilities and financial burden for a significant asset portfolio, much of which was constructed in the peak mining periods where populations were high.
With a population of only 19,000 residents today, Council and the community must review all assets and developing strategies to improve its financial position and ensure affordability of ongoing costs associated with assets that will allow for economic diversification and prosperity of the city.