There are an increasing number of industrial sites falling into disuse across the western world. In the case of sites like Australia's Broken Hill, the natural resource that once supported the mining activity has been exhausted. In the case of Newcastle's steel works, the production process can now be undertaken more cheaply elsewhere. Many of these sites still have significant heritage value and their conservation is important to the development of a collective understanding of national identity. So what are the significant issues facing the evaluation of cultural significance for large industrial sites and how should we be addressing their legacy. Their exposure to environmental conditions, the fragile and cumulative nature of their construction, and the difficulties of establishing freameworks for interpretation suggest there will be a number of unique problems for the strategic conservation, economic viability and operational managment of such facilities. This paper will present a case study of Broken Hill as a solution to the conflicting need to conserve an extensive and complex heritage site, and the need to maintain the site as an economic going concern. The paper will outline the development of the Line of Lode Project from the initail feasibility study to commercialisation, focusing onn the development of a strategic response, in this case a response to the closure of the mines, and the adaptive re-use of such a large and disparate site.
Australia ICOMOS National Conference 2001. 20th Century Heritage: Our Recent Legacy: Proceedings of the Australia ICOMOS National Conference 2001 (Adelaide, S. A. 28 November - 1 December, 2001) p. 440-444