Opera House Car Park

Though the BLF worked mainly with resident action groups and environmental organisations, professional organisations did occasionally enlist their support. For instance, in 1972 it was proposed that a carpark for the Opera House would be built under part of the Royal Botanic Garden.

Architects, engineers, and conservationists alike shared concerns as construction would pose a threat to ancient fig trees within the proposed site. The carpark would interfere with their root systems and cause the destruction of at least three full trees. The ventilation plans for the underground carpark were also inadequate, meaning that the health of all nearby people and vegetation was at risk due to harmful exhaust fumes.  

After the government dismissed these concerns the groups turned to the BLF for support and on March 22, 1972 they announced that members of the union would refuse to ‘desecrate the area purely for the sake of present-day expediency.’ The fig trees were saved, and the green ban held until 1975 when the state government announced the carpark would be built on another site.

Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann, Green bans movement, Dictionary of Sydney, 2011.

Research provided by Isabella Maher


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