Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Friday, February 11, 2011

The 1999 closure of BHP's Newcastle steel works

Now that I have started writing my seminar paper on cultural change in New England I have to start filling gaps while also adding new material. I begin the paper with the closure of the Newcastle steelworks, once the largest integrated steel works in the British Empire.

This post simply records some of the on-line references so that I don't loose them.

The closure was debated in the NSW Legislative Assembly on 22 September 1999. The speeches are interesting not just because of the closure, but because they provide a snapshot of issues at the time. BHP Billiton's HRRP Fact Sheet 1 contains a brief history of the works. There is also reference to a book - Jay, Christopher (1999). A Future More Prosperous: The History of Newcastle Steelworks 1912-1999. Broken Hill Propriety Co. Ltd. - that I had not seen.

Workers Online contains an article by Dr Nancy Cushing - School of Humanities, University of Newcastle, Remembering BHP: Memory and Industrial Heritage. There was a PM story done at the time. There is another book: Tailing out : BHP workers talk about life, steelmaking and the Newcastle closure / interviews and writing collected and edited by P.P. Cranney

Now in all of this I came across a 2009 discussion thread on the closure of the BHP archives. It's worth a read for all those interested in the preservation of historical material. I don't know what's happened since.  

I also found some video, but I need to follow this up.

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