Secretary of the Sydney Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia Paul Keating has today pledged the Unions’ full support in enforcing the Green Ban instituted by the Construction Division of the CFMMEU in Parramatta.
“The historic Willow Grove building in Parramatta isn’t for a Liberal/National state government to destroy. This is part of Sydney’s heritage and it belongs to all of us”.
Built in the 1870s as a residential home, Willow Grove is a rare remaining example of Victorian Italiante Villa in Parramatta. Many generations of people in the Parramatta community were born there during the three decades it served as a maternity hospital between 1919 and 1953.
“The North Paramatta Residents Action Group and the Construction Union have bent over backwards to work with the Berijiklian Government to come to a solution that allows for the Powerhouse Museum to be built without destroying our heritage. It beggars belief that the government would completely disregard the concerns of ordinary people and push ahead with this senseless destruction” said Mr. Keating.
“Our union is made up of ordinary Maritime Workers in Sydney. Maritime Workers that run Sydney’s ferries, operate our ports, that crew our ships. When we’re not at work we’re in our working-class communities coaching local footy teams, picking up our kids from school and participating in community life. We completely reject the idea that only billionaire property tycoons and faceless government heavyweights have the right to participate in decision making about what kind of development happens in our city” stated Mr. Keating.
Mr Keating said “in Solidarity with the North Parramatta Residents Action Group the Construction Union has already placed a Green Ban on the Willow Grove site. Today I pledge the complete support of the Maritime Union for this ban. If the Berijiklian government decides to try and push on with this senseless destruction we will stand alongside the community to physically protect our shared heritage”.
“For generations ordinary workers in Sydney have held governments accountable for their destructive decisions. Waterside workers refused to load Australian iron on to ships bound for the Japanese war machine during WWII. Construction workers saved the iconic Centennial Park from the profiteering developers of the 1970s. These are just two examples where workers have put their jobs and their bodies on the line to save rogue governments from themselves.”
“No government of any persuasion has the right to side with billionaire developers and destroy heritage that belongs to all of us. The MUA will not stand by and allow this to happen – we will join the community in standing in front of bulldozers if we are forced to.”
For background: MUA Sydney Branch Organiser Shane Reside 0400526313
/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length.