For four years the Builders Labourers Federation inspired Sydney, a nation and the world. They led a revolution in ideas about people's right to participate in decisions about public art, architecture and urban planning. “We are builders labourers”, said secretary Jack Mundey “not mere builders labourers”. From 1971, they voted on over 50 requests for bans from resident groups and many hundreds from the National Trust and/or the Institute of Architects. They voted for a big picture: to keep urban low cost housing and to protect the environment and heritage. The most dramatic and creative of these battles took place in the old inner-city working class residential suburbs of The Rocks, Woolloomooloo and in Victoria Street in Kings Cross. The government and developers hoped to transform these areas with high rise commercial towers.
    Image: Chips Mackinolty, Green Bands Forever (after Mick Fowler), 2020, digital print on Ilford Galerie Prestige Cotton Rag 300 gsm

    About

    On the 50th anniversary of the Green Bans, the ideals of their struggle to protect heritage and environmental amenity for all to enjoy are more urgent than ever. In 2011 the Green Bans Art Walk and Exhibition (in two parts at The Cross Art Projects and The Firstdraft Depot Project Space), told the story of an inspired period, its charismatic leaders and grass-roots heroes. The project comprised a series of public guided walks between the exhibition venues functioned as a living instruction manual and moral compass charting stories of good and evil, creativity and conflict. Read more

    Now

    The Powerhouse Museum Alliance is a group of concerned citizens working to save the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. The Alliance includes longstanding benefactors of the museum, former trustees, design and heritage experts and senior museum professionals. Read more