ilovebrokenhill.com , was first published on 8 December 2011 by Jane Deany. My blog is all about the famous outback Australian National Heritage Listed City named Broken Hill, located in the state of New South Wales. I first visited #BrokenHill in 2002 and have returned many times since then. ilovebrokenhill.com will help you discover what's great about this historic mining city, where in the mid 1880's the line of lode, a rich ore body of silver, lead and zinc was found. You will find stories about anything related to Broken Hill.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Broken Hill Real Estate Report October 2012

Quintessential renovator's delight
miner's cottage
Real Estate
I was pleased to catch up with Century 21 McLeods Broken Hill real estate agent and Principal Matthew Handberg last week when I visited the City for a long weekend.  I have been keen to do a story about the Broken Hill real estate market since I started my blog last December so here it is!

I firstly asked Matthew whether there was a noticeably better time of year to sell a property in other words was there some kind of "seasonal" trend?  He indicated there was not really an obvious "better" time to sell.  This year - 2012 - saw a good July which is mid winter and can be pretty cold in Broken Hill, especially at night.

I asked Matthew if some of the new mining opportunities and alternative energy projects such as the Silverton Wind Farm could have a positive influence on the market and he felt that over the longer term, there would be a positive influence.

He confirmed my observation of recent sales activity that this was indicative of vendors becoming more realistic.  He indicated that if a property was on the market for more than two months it was a sign that the property may be overpriced.  The vast majority of houses in Broken Hill, it should be noted, are sold privately, auctions are very rare.  For those not aware, in my home city - Melbourne - it's quite the opposite, especially for inner city property which is for the majority of cases sold via auction.

Classic miner's cottage also, in this
case a renovator's delight
There has generally across the board in Australia, been a little bit more confidence in the property market and lower interest rates also will tend to stimulate the property market.  These factors combined with more realistic vendors Matthew felt produce a net result that in general, locals are feeling a bit more confident to upgrade.
One thing that is keeping the median price down, which at date of my interview with Matthew on 22 October 2012, was $105,000, was high stock levels at the lower end of the market.  Once this begins to clear, the median price should increase.

I looked at some figures Matthew provided on Sales numbers and median prices since 1994 from www.pricefinder.com.au and a few points to note are, in that time period, 2003 saw the highest number of house sales - 765 houses sold, and the median price for a property then was $48,000.  The next busiest year was 2007 where 665 houses were sold and the median price was $120,000, which was a jump from a median price of $83,000 the previous year (2006).  In 2010 only 240 houses sold and the median price was $102,750.  Things picked up slightly last year in 2011 where 311 houses sold with a median price of $117,500.  This year's figures remain to be seen.

Good rental returns are available.  I'll have a little more on that topic soon.

Cheers, Jane D

Sunday 28 October 2012

www.ilovebrokenhill.com blogger Jane Deany aka me makes the news!

Photo of part of the 'Barrier Daily Truth'
article  about www.ilovebrokenhill.com
It has been an exciting week for me. Firstly I spent a lovely long weekend in Broken Hill last weekend. I caught up with lots of people including Betty Pearson President of GAARA Arts Inc., Bob Groves President of the Willyama Art Society, newly re-elected Broken Hill Mayor Wincen Cuy, Andrea Roberts - Manager Community Development at the City Council, local artists Peter McGlinchey, Deirdre Edwards, Karrie Lannstrom, Geoff De Main, Julie and Rod Horsburgh, Dot Henderson and Margaret (Rita) Bruggy.

I also chatted to Cathy Farry Manager of the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, and local real estate agent Matthew Handberg. I interviewed Matthew about the local real estate market so watch out for that story coming very soon.

The "newsworthy" part of the trip, at least for me, was being interviewed by Emily Roberts of the 'Barrier Daily Truth' (BDTabout my www.ilovebrokenhill.com blog.

I thought the BDT could be interested in doing a story about www.ilovebrokenhill.com and my interest in Broken Hill and they were.

Emily interviewed me on Monday morning and the following day, Tuesday 23nd October the story appeared in the paper on page 3.

I had left the City late Monday afternoon so I didn't get a copy of the paper initially but saw it via my online copy on Tuesday morning. I rang and requested that the BDT post me a few copies to show family and friends and I was amazed that I received the copies on the Friday which is pretty quick.

Gavin Schmidt photographer at
the 'Barrier Daily Truth'
After Gavin Schmidt of the BDT photographed me for the article opposite the offices of the BDT, I turned my camera on him at the same location and he somewhat reluctantly let me take a photo of him so there it is together with mine from the article.

I must thank Gavin as well as his BDT colleague Darrin Manuel for kindly providing the occasional photo for my blog. When I first contacted Gavin earlier in the year and requested he send me one of his photos from the paper he promptly forwarded it to me without hesitation. It has been a great help given that I don't live in Broken Hill as I miss being able to take photos at particular events more often than not.

As the BDT article said, I did a lot of driving around the City looking at real estate, I really would like to buy a "country place" some time, hopefully I won't have to wait too long for the right property to come along.

Cheers, Jane D

Saturday 27 October 2012

Racing Results for the Broken Hill Silver City Cup 27 October 2012

The 2012 Silver City Cup (1600m) has been run today and the Wally Bencic (Orroroo SA) trained Al Chicago (6yo bay gelding (male)) was ridden to victory by Strathalbyn (SA) apprentice jockey Chenelle Ellis.

There was one scratching - Teraset.

The full race results are as follows ...

                Horse                              Trainer                     Jockey
1st   (#7) Al Chicago (6)                 Wally Bencic            Chenelle Ellis
2nd  (#8) Fresh Tell (3)                   Dennis McMahon    Tamara Zanker   
3rd  (#1) St Ives (1)                         Paula Trenwith          Eran Boyd   
4th   (#9) Perisher Blue (8)             Con Kelly                  Tara O'donnell
5th   (#4) Bullioh (4)                         Brett Charry              Lauren Stojakovic
6th   (#2) Noble Connection (7)      Mick Whittle              Elly Brooks 
7th   (#3) Platinum Touch (5)          Rodney Robb           Michael Hackett
8th   (#5) Regansburg (2)               Mick Whittle              Robert Faehr

Famous finishing line of
Silver City Racing Club
from the Club's website
Meanwhile back in Melbourne at Mooney Valley, where the temperature only reached 15 degrees with a cool breeze, the Sportingbet Cox Plate was won by the Gary Hennessy trained 4 yo bay NZ horse Ocean Park (ridden by Glen Boss), just beating the Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard and beating the $4.80 favourite Green Moon which came 7th.

I'm sorry I missed the Silver City Cup but I must say I'm about to spend four fun-filled days at the races at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup Carnival which kicks off next Saturday with Derby Day where of course I'll be wearing traditional black and white.

Whether you won or not in Broken Hill or at Mooney Valley in Melbourne or anywhere else, I hope you had a great day.

Cheers, Jane D

Thursday 25 October 2012

Broken Hill's Silver City Cup Race Meeting 27th October 2012

The famous finish line at the
Silver City Racing Club - Broken Hill Regional Events Centre 

Broken Hill from the Club's website
This Saturday 27th October 2012 will see the running of the annual Silver City Cup. This is the 'other' horse race meeting on Broken Hill's annual racing calendar.  The main racing event being the famous the St. Patrick's Day race meeting held in March on or around the 17th.  The venue is the Broken Hill Regional Events Centre - Racecourse Road, Broken Hill.

The Silver City Cup race meeting, which was first run in 1899, is considered more of a family day with lots of things to do for children.  There will be 5 or 6 races depending on acceptances.  The race is once a year timed to coincide with the prestigous Group 1, 2040m Sportingbet Cox Plate which is run at Moonee Valley in Melbourne at 5.15pm Melbourne time = 4.45pm Broken Hill time.  The Silver City Cup, Race 6, is a 1600m race which is run at 5.00pm local time = 5.30pm Melbourne time.  The 2011 Silver City Cup was won by Cobar trainer Allan Prisk's Turn Him Loose. Lester Grace was the jockey and this was his first ever win.

There will be a record prize money of $50,000 and $1,400 in trophies.

There will be bookmakers and a TAB on the course which will be taking bets on both local and interstate racing.

Racing NSW has more information and a copy of the racebook/formguide can be found here.

There will be the 2012 Atlas Copco Fashions on the Field event as well as national TV stars Dan Ewing and Rhiannon Fish from the Australian TV show 'Home and Away' attending as special guests.  Dan and Rhiannon will be involved in judging the fashions on the field.  The categories are - Most Elegant Silver City Lady, The Trendiest Chick, Country Casual Male and Best Dressed Girl and Boy.

For more information from the Silver City Racing Club please see here.

Well known local artist Howard William
Steer has painted the picture for
the promotional material for the

2012 Silver City Cup
It should be a wonderful day, and I know I keep saying it but I wish I could be there.  It was so close this time as I visited the city last weekend for a few days and had a fantastic time, but I do have a day job and needed to be back in Melbourne for that.

Nanua Races
Whilst I was visiting Broken Hill this trip, the famous Nanua races were on.  They're held 140kms south west of Broken Hill.  It is a whole two day carnival on a private property.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to get to that meeting either, but now that I know it's on I'll add it to the list of things to do in the future.

Happy betting. Cheers, Jane D

Thursday 18 October 2012

Film, Movies and the Broken Hill Film Studio


Broken Hill Film Studio
In March 2011 Broken Hill's $2.3 million dollar film studio was opened.  What a great idea.  It involved converting the former Eyre Street Power Station into this impressive new piece of the City's infrastructure.  Marketing of the venue has followed with the aim of enticing film producers to use the venue for their movie ventures.  But the space will also be available for other activities and projects such as events, exhibitions, education, installation artworks.  I'm sure the list could go on.

In the future, it is hoped that another $9 million dollars will be raised so as to create a multifunctional studio development across the whole power station site.

Since its opening and with little usage, Broken Hill City Council (Council) engaged consultants at a cost of around $100,000 to put together a prospectus which asked for submissions from businesses to develop the studio precinct.  By the closing date in mid 2012, Council was pleased to receive five responses which they are now considering.

As well as being financially viable proposals, the ultimate aim is to attract tourists to Broken Hill.

Me with the famous Mad Max II vehicle at Silverton
Council originally had hoped to bring back a Mad Max film crew for the next, 4th, Mad Max movie Fury Road to use the studio, but with recent rains ending dry conditions, the area was deemed too green by director George Miller.  The area no longer provided the beautiful orange/red dirt/desert "look" sought as a back-drop for filming.  The film will now be shot in the Rebublic of Namibia.  The loss was a blow to the studio venture, however, Broken Hill Mayor Wincen Cuy was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald in August last year saying that the loss would "affect the community as a whole ... losing potential marketing associated with that film."  He went on to say that "Broken Hill's had a film industry for 30 years and it will continue." 

Broken Hill Film Studio Precinct

As we can see, the wheels are in motion with a number of new ideas and proposals being considered.

It's a case of "watch this space ...."

If you have a need for a film studio, I'm sure Council would to be pleased to hear from you.  I will provide some contact information shortly regarding this.

Cheers, Jane D

Sunday 14 October 2012

Broken Hill marks Carers Week 14-20 October 2012 with art exhibition

Art Scene
D'Art De Main Gallery
Yes more art.  To mark Carers Week, artwork produced by Broken Hill's many carers went on display today at D'Art De Main Gallery at 233 Rowe Street Broken Hill.

Carers Week runs from 14 - 20 October 2012 and this year the theme is 'Be Care Aware'.

The "Hidden Carers, Hidden Talents" exhibition officially opened earlier today.  An address was made by special guest Cathy Farry, the manager of the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.  Live music was played and there was finger food as well.

"Tangerine Dreaming @ the Junction
Mine in the Summer of 09"
courtesy artist Karrie Lannstrom

According to Tanya Clifton of Far West Local Health District, the carers came up with the idea to have the exhibition as they wanted to show people they were proud to be carers.  They also wanted to raise awareness of the role carers play.  A role that is sometimes hidden, and one that carers often don't even realise they are doing.  There are about 2.6 million carers in Australia. 

The exhibition hours are 10.30 am to 4.00 pm daily.  There are several events being held at the D'Art De Main Gallery during the week.  For more details you can contact Tanya Clifton on 0428 965 310 or Sophie Angell on 08 8087 3477 from Far West Local Health DistrictSee this organisation's related media release here.

There are 49 artworks.  Pictured here is one of the entries by Karrie Lannstrom.  It is a vibrant oil on canvas.

Also on the same theme see here for more information on carers with the Care Aware - National Carer Awareness Initiative.

Cheers, Jane D

Friday 12 October 2012

'The Fatal Lodes' by Broken Hill author Stan Goodman available at last

Mining Industry
Stan Goodman began researching the stories behind the deaths of miners back in 2001.  Eleven years and nearly 400 pages later, his book 'The Fatal Lodes' was launched earlier this week at a Civic Reception at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

Mr Goodman began a long career in mining in 1956 where he began working as a trainee engineer at Zinc Corporation.  Later in his career he spent 13 years as an inspector before he finally retired in 1999.

Miners Memorial Broken Hill
His research commenced after he realised there were a number of errors and inaccuracies in the records about how some of the miner's died.  He also found inaccuracies at the Miners Memorial on the Line of Lode.

Mr Goodman noted that even after his lengthy research period there were still missing facts.

Mr Stan Goodman from ABC Rural website 26.01.11
The book will be an excellent reference resource for anyone interested in this subject especially families and friends trying to trace the story behind the death of their loved one(s).

The book is available at the Broken Hill City Council offices 240 Blende Street and the Visitor Information Centre corner Blende and Bromide Streets Broken Hill for $35.00.  There are plans to sell it at other retailers in the future and it will also eventually become available at the local library.

After strong interest in the book at the official launch on Wednesday, Mr Goodman attended the City Council offices earlier today between  11am and 12 noon and signed and sold about 150 more copies of the book.  It was sold out in the end.  Another print run has been ordered.  Mr Goodman was overwhelmed with the interest in his book, and Council was also surprised at the demand.

Mr Goodman also noted that if a reader saw an error he was keen to hear about it so the book could be amended with a future print run.

I have come across an informative news item/story about Mr Goodman and his book and an interview (podcast) with him from ABC Rural's website which was recorded on Australia Day last year (26 January 2011).  It's worth reading and listening to.   Also well worth listening to is ABC Outback's Chris Jeremy's interview with Mr Goodman recorded yesterday ... see link here to the podcast.  The whole story is really fascinating.

If you managed to buy a copy I would love to hear what you thought of the book.

Congratulations and well done Mr Goodman and ...

Rest In peace to the deceased miners ....

Jane D

Monday 8 October 2012

Broken Hill and mining – a very brief snapshot

Mining Industry
Cover of Broken Hill
A Guide To The Silver City

It is well know that Broken Hill’s major claim to fame was with the discovery of what turned out to be one of the (if not the) world’s richest seam of silver, lead and zinc by a boundary rider named Charles Rasp in 1883.  Much has been written on the subject.

Broken Hill’s population has been heavily influenced by the booms in mining and its population reached 35,0001 in 1915.  Today the population is below 20,000.

The most notable mining company is of course Broken Hill Proprietary Co Ltd (BHP) which was formed in August 18852 to raise the capital required to mine the boomerang shaped ore body known as the line of lode.  The jutting shape of the ore filled outcrop inspired the name “broken hill”.  With much of the ore body now mined, the hill was replaced with a “seven kilometre length of tailings”3 (or left over material from the mining process) which is a similar height to the original line of lode pre-mining days.

Kintore poppet head, Broken Hill
There were numerous different mining companies that mined over the years.  An excellent book that goes into detail about the mining history and architecture of Broken Hill, and where I have sourced some of my information in this post is from the 2010 book “Broken Hill A Guide To The Silver City” by Elizabeth Vines, with photography by Bruce Tindale (unless otherwise noted).  The book was produced by the Broken Hill City Council and is available at the Visitor Information Centre and the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery for $19.95.  It’s a great book I recommend it.

Fast forward to today and there are three mining companies operating in and around Broken Hill.  I have links to their websites below which provides more information about the projects they are involved in.

Perilya Limited – an Australian base-metal mining and exploration company.

CBH Resources Limited – Rasp Mine.

There is so much I could write about on this topic however, I have only just touched the surface of the subject to give you a taste of the story.

Cheers, Jane D

1.       “Broken Hill A Guide To The Silver City” Elizabeth Vines p. 30
2.       “Broken Hill A Guide To The Silver City” Elizabeth Vines, p. 6
3.       “Broken Hill A Guide To The Silver City” Elizabeth Vines, p. 7