view gallery Broken Hill is surrounded by its marks of its mining industry, the Line of the Lode memorial looks down on Broken Hill from atop the ‘mullock heap'. Image Credit: Bill Hatcher/Australian Geographic

Broken Hill makes national heritage list

  • BY AAP with AG staff |
  • January 21, 2015

Outback mining town Broken Hill is the first town to be including on the National Heritage list

BROKEN HILL, IN far western NSW, has become the first city in Australia to be included on the National Heritage List.

"Broken Hill has a rich and colourful history virtually unmatched by any city in regional Australia," Minister for Western NSW Kevin Humphries said as he paid a visit to the mining town on Tuesday.

The minister was joined by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt as they declared the city the latest addition to the list, because of its outstanding heritage significance to Australia. 

The outback town now stands alongside the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as one of the country's great national treasures, the minister said.

"A National Heritage listing for Broken Hill recognises over 130 years of continuous mining operations, its contribution to technical developments in the field of mining, its pioneering role in the development of occupational health and safety standards, and its early innovation and adoption of environmental regeneration in and around mining operations," said Greg hunt, Minister for the Environment.

Broken Hill contributes to national identity

The 18,500 residents of Broken Hill have lobbied for nearly 10 years to get it on the prestigious list of places said to contribute to Australia's national identity.

Minister for Heritage Rob Stokes said its inclusion will attract more tourists from across Australia and the world.

"Tourism is the lifeblood of Broken Hill and this funding will go a long way to growing the city's tourism sector, creating local jobs and breathing fresh life into the local economy," he said.

According to the listing, Broken Hill "is recognised for its strong community spirit, the resilience of its people and its isolated location and dramatic landscape. Broken Hill has come to symbolise the challenges and remoteness of living in the Australian outback."

Broken Hill was discovered in 1883 By Charles Rasp, who identified what's now known as the Line of Lode, an ore seam with deposits of silver, lead and zinc. The town is the birthplace of mining company BHP Billiton (Broken Hill Propritary). 

Broken Hill is the 103rd place to be added to the National Heritage List