Perth Trades Hall

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Former Perth Trades Hall building, renamed Delaney Gallery in 1985

Coordinates: 31°56′58″S 115°51′46″E / 31.94934°S 115.86289°E / -31.94934; 115.86289 The Perth Trades Hall is the Trades Hall building in Perth occupied by various organisations of the Western Australian trade union movement. The present Perth Trades Hall, at Unity House, 77-79 Stirling Street, was opened on May Day, 2000. It provides offices and meeting rooms for trade unions, the Australian Labor Party and other community and political groups. The Trades and Labour Council (TLC), now known as UnionsWA, relocated in 2007 to the CSA Building at 445 Hay Street, Perth.

Historic former building[edit]

Although a Trades and Labour Council (TLC) was established in Perth in 1891, finances to build a trades hall were not available until 1911, when Alick McCallum became general secretary of the Australian Labour Federation, as the TLC was then called.

Design and construction of the original trades hall building was largely due to the efforts of Ernest Henshaw. The three-storey neo-Georgian building was erected at 74 Beaufort Street, the site of Perth’s original Scotch College. The foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Andrew Fisher on 8 August 1911. The hall was officially opened on 20 April 1912 by Premier of Western Australia, and former trades hall secretary John Scaddan.

In 1985 the building was sold and became the Delaney Gallery. The WA Heritage Council has listed it as Heritage Place No. 8783: Delaney Gallery (Trades Hall). A 2010 photograph in the register shows that the name "Trades Hall" has been reinstated above the portico.[1]

In 2013 the building was purchased by the CFMEU West Australian State Registered Union so that the building would once again be used for its intended purpose of Trade Union business. A significant renovation process was undertaken by Union workers restoring the building as far as possible to its original condition, with modern facilities provided for staff . On 29 June 2014 the building was re-opened by Michael O'Connor the National Secretary of the combined CFMEU National Divisions. At the official reopening he unveiled a plaque bearing the inscription "Back in the Hands of those who built it" The building now not only houses the CFMEU, but is regularly used by like minded organisations as a meeting venue

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Further reading[edit]

  • Monk, Ian. (1999) Perth's Trades Hall, 1912-1983. Papers in labour history, No.22 (Dec. 1999), pp. 6–20,
  • Oliver, Bobbie. (2003) Unity is strength : a history of the Australian Labor Party and the Trades and Labor Council in Western Australia, 1899-1999 Perth WA : API Network, Australia Research Institute, Curtin University. ISBN 1-920845-01-1