Meredith Burgman discusses the significance of the iconic Green Bans movement of the 1970s, which saved many significant buildings from purely speculative development and stopped Australian cities turning into concrete jungles.
Enraging employers and politicians but delighting many in the wider community, the members of the NSW Builders Labourers’ Federation risked their jobs to preserve buildings, bush and parkland.The direct impact of this green bans movement can be seen all over Sydney.
Union members also used industrial power to defend women’s rights, gay rights and indigenous rights.
At a time when workers’ organisations around the world are looking to fight back against overdevelopment and global warming, in Green Bans Red Union Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann opens a window on a period when Australian workers led the world in innovative and stunningly effective forms of environmental protest..
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