Sydney Trades Hall

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NSW Trades Hall

The Sydney Trades Hall is the historic Trades Hall in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The building was built and owned by the Trades Hall Association, the original trade union affiliates who built the hall in 1888.

Sydney Trades Hall is located at 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney at the top of the 'Chinatown District'. In 2002 ownership was sold to the Labor Council of New South Wales who are refurbishing and restoring the building. The Heritage Council of New South Wales approved plans to refurbish the building during 2004.


A grant of land was made for the Trades Hall site on 13 October 1885, to the trustees: Henry Copeland (Member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, MLA)of Newtown, Jacob Garrard (MLA) of Balmain, William Ferrier of Balmain (a stonemason), John Edward West of Woolloomooloo (a plumber and gasfitter), John Richard Talbot of Sydney (iron moulder), John Atkinson of Balmain (a boilermaker), Thomas candy of Surry Hills (a draper), and Richard Mooney of Woolloomooloo (a Journeyman Tailor).

The trustees were required to "hold and use or allow the said land hereby granted and the buildings to be erected thereon to be at all times hereafter maintained and used as and for a Trades Hall and Literary Institute for the use of the Artificers and Operatives of Sydney aforesaid and others under and in accordance with such Regulations as shall from time to time be made by the Governor".

In 1888 Lord Carrington, as State Governor (also Grand Master Freemason of the United Grand Lodge in NSW), laid the foundation stone of Sydney's Trades Hall. Due to lack of funds, it took several years for the building to be erected. Finally, the opening ceremony was performed on 26 January 1895. According to Mr McIntyre, president of the Builders and Contractors Association, "every man employed had been a unionist, and had received the full rate of pay ordered by the associated trades." The building was designed by John Smedley with later additions by Spain, Cosh and Minnett. [1]

In 1932, New South Wales Premier, Jack Lang had the State's money removed from bank accounts and taken to Trades Hall so that the Federal Government would not be able to seize it.[2] He was subsequently dismissed from office by Governor Philip Game.


  1. ^ Heritage Branch Website - Sydney Trades Hall
  2. ^ Hocking, Jenny. Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History, Volume 1 Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2008; p. 52

External links[edit]

  • Trades Hall - the Royal Connection[1] by Neale Towart (2001)
  • The Knights of Labor and their Context[2] by Bob James (1999)

Coordinates: 33°52′39″S 151°12′15″E / 33.877477°S 151.204104°E / -33.877477; 151.204104