The Save Our Sirius (SOS) group campaigning against the New South Wales government's decision to sell off the historic Sirius public housing building has warned potential buyers against proceeding with the purchase.
The NSW Coalition government announced on May 25 it had put the now-vacant building onto the market. Media reports suggest the government is expecting to sell Sirius for upwards of $120 million.
SOS Chair Shaun Carter issued this advice to those who might be interested in buying Sirius: "Sirius has a Green Ban placed on it. You buy this site at the risk [that the] CFMEU [Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union] and Save our Sirius will lock the site up if Sirius is not protected. We will picket the site and disrupt any activity. If you intend to buy the site and demolish the building, you will have trouble from the Green Ban and Save Our Sirius.
“We strongly advise anyone interested in buying Sirius to work with us and the building’s original architect Tao Gofers, to preserve Sirius for state heritage listing. If you don’t, you run the real risk of trouble from the Green Ban, from Save Our Sirius, and from the people, cultural and heritage organisations that have been asking this government to find a better solution for Sirius."
SOS again called on the state government to stop the sale, deploy Sirius for Key Worker Accommodation, and list it on the State Heritage Register.
The campaign to save the brutalist-style Sirius building, which was built for low-income public housing in the 1970s as a result of the NSW Builders Labourers Federation Green Bans movement, is continuing.
The SOS campaign has been closely linked to the parallel struggle to prevent the sell-off of public housing in nearby Millers Point, and the eviction of its tenants, which was ultimately unsuccessful. While almost 400 Millers Point homes have now been sold, there is little sign of implementation of the government's stated aim of using the funds raised for new public housing.