Union declares ‘green ban’ on redevelopment of historic Curtin Hotel
Victorian workers’ unions will refuse the redevelopment of a historic Melbourne pub, the Curtin Hotel.
In a modern take on the 1970s green ban, unions will refuse to work for fear of disrespecting history, after the iconic pub was recently sold to overseas investors.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke used the hotel as a second office when he was ACTU President before becoming the National Leader.
The Curtin has links to the Victorian trade union movement and the Labor Party.
In February, the managers announced that the building would be sold at the end of the current lease.
Although no details of the buyers have been revealed, the secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council Luc Hilikari said that members will not be invited to work on the project because it does not respect the importance of the hotel.
“We are really concerned that an international developer is coming to create apartments in a building that is historically significant for Melbourne,” he added. he said.
“We have tried numerous times to contact owners and agents to try to make sure we can speak to whoever bought it and they just refuse to do so.”
Hilikari said reviewing a green ban, which shut down projects in the 1970s, is a decision based on the seriousness of the matter.
“The green bans have ensured that we have preserved the heart of what Melbourne is. It’s sad that we have to start over, but we have no other choice,” he said.
“We are ready to fight, so if anyone wants to tear this place down and turn it into flats, they can expect some pretty tough things in Victoria.”
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