The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.
Jack Mundey and the Green Bans
Can you imagine Sydney without The Rocks? or what if we didn't have the Centennial Parklands or the State Theatre? These are just some of the iconic Sydney places that were saved from wholesale destruction in the 1970s by the imposition of green bans by trade unionists. Listen to Lisa and Alex on 2SER here Traditionally trade unionists placed a 'black ban' on work or goods to push their own issues. But in the 1970s trade unionists in the construction industry began to use the withdrawal of labour to highlight their social responsibility. They argued that workers had a right to insist their labour not be used in harmful ways. In order to distinguish from black bans, this new concept was given a new name, a green ban. Sydney was one of the first places in the world to have green bans. There were three main types of green bans:
- to defend open spaces from various kinds of development;
- to protect existing housing stock from demolition intended to make way for freeways or high-rise development;
- to preserve older-style buildings from replacement by office-blocks or shopping precincts.