BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie today announced a donation of A$5.7 million from the BHP Billiton Foundation to support a major new Broken Hill City Council initiative to revitalise Broken Hill as a place to live and visit.
Coinciding with the one year anniversary of Broken Hill’s inclusion on Australia’s National Heritage List, Mr Mackenzie said the Foundation was proud to support the Living Museum and Perfect Light Project in the city that gave BHP Billiton its name.
Making the funding announcement in Argent Street today, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie was joined by the Mayor of Broken Hill, Councillor Wincen Cuy.
Mr Mackenzie said the City and the company had an important shared history, with BHP Billiton recently celebrating the 130th anniversary of the incorporation of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited.
“As BHP Billiton has evolved, we have not forgotten our rich history and connection with Broken Hill. I am very proud to be here today to help the City celebrate its past, and prosper into the future,” he said.
“We are delighted to announce the donation which will fund the development of two key components of the Broken Hill City Council’s Living Museum and Perfect Light Project – the Broken Hill Archives and the Argent Street intersection ‘parklets’.
“These will enhance the City’s appeal to attract new visitors and help to create an ongoing legacy and sustainable foundation for the Broken Hill community.”
The ‘parklets’, located at the intersections of cross streets with Argent Street, will help tell the stories of the minerals they are named after, through artwork, seating and paving. The funding will also help protect the City’s historical archives and make them more accessible to visitors and online.
BHP Billiton will also fund the restoration and protection of the BHP chimney, which is the last remnant of the company’s original office, a hut built in 1885 for the company’s first manager, William Jamison.
Mr Mackenzie said: “Broken Hill has a wonderful story to tell. By tapping in to the City’s bold and energetic artistic flair, its rich and colourful history, it will be preserved for generations to come.”
Further information on Broken Hill – the ‘Heritage City’
Broken Hill, in the far north-west of New South Wales, and sharing a close affinity and time-zone with South Australia, has a population today of 19,000.
The municipality was incorporated on 22 September 1888, five years after boundary rider Charles Rasp pegged the first mineral lease on the site. This rocky outcrop would become known as ‘Broken Hill’, the largest deposit of lead, silver and zinc ever discovered, and lend its name to the city and the company, BHP Billiton.
In January 2015 Broken Hill became Australia’s first heritage listed city, joining the Australian War Memorial, the Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef on the National Heritage List.
The listing recognises its significant mining history and contribution to the mining and resources industry. It also reflects the role it played in the country’s industrial relations system, with many conditions of employment, such as workplace safety, originating in the city’s mining operations.
Embracing its heritage status, the Broken Hill City Council adopted the Living Museum and Perfect Light Project – a major CBD renewal plan - in June 2015. The plan aims to support the region beyond the life of mining operations, leveraging the City’s unique character and historical status to attract greater numbers of domestic and international tourists.
Through its Foundation, BHP Billiton will contribute to this project and assist in the revitalisation of the City.
Read our News Release for more information.