Iconic moment in Wallerawang’s history captured by local artist is donated to the Lithgow community by Greenspot

Earlier this year, Greenspot completed its partial demolition of the Wallerawang Power Station.  Greenspot acquired the site from EnergyAustralia in September 2020 after presenting a vision for the site that involved the beneficial re-use of existing infrastructure as part of creating a new multi-use precinct and centre of economic growth.

Liberty Industrial was the principal contractor for the demolition project.  Around 120,000 man-hours contributed to the safe execution and completion of the project.  Over 98% of demolished material was recovered for recycling, reuse, or repurposing.  This included over 46,000 tonnes of scrap metal which was sent to local steel mills to be converted into new industrial products.

In November 2021, leading up to the explosive demolition of the chimney stacks and the Unit 8 boiler, Greenspot hosted a three-night lightshow and tribute event for the local community to honour the legacy of the Wallerawang Power Station and the generations of people who made the site special for a period spanning almost seven decades. The event served as a celebration of both the past and the future.

Greenspot has marked the end of the demolition project with a donation of artwork to the Lithgow community. The artwork, by local artist Caitlin Graham, is a lino block relief print titled “It was sad to see it go”.  It depicts the demolition of the two chimney stacks and boiler which had previously dominated the Wallerawang skyline. 

Mayor Maree Statham accepted the artwork on behalf of the community from Greenspot CEO Brett Hawkins on site on 20th September.  Caitlin, who has recently completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School in Sydney, was also in attendance to mark the event.

The artwork will be added to the Council art collection and will be hung initially in the Wallerawang Library to honour the Old Wallerawang Power Station, which was commissioned and commenced electricity generation in 1957.

“We are delighted to be able to donate this piece of art to the Lithgow community and we thank Mayor Statham for attending site to accept it”, said Mr Hawkins.  “We also acknowledge Caitlin’s talent and thank her for preserving an iconic image in such a respectful and thoughtful way.  Caitlin’s work is representative of her family’s connection to and love for the area and of her wish, which mirrors ours, for the history of the site to be honoured as we look to create its next chapter.”

In accepting the artwork on behalf of the community, Mayor Statham said – “How privileged our Local Government Area is to have a company like Greenspot to purchase an amazing local work of art from an incredibly talented young artist, Caitlin Graham. I have personally witnessed Caitlin and the passion she has for art, develop into an extraordinary successful well-known artist.

Greenspot are leading the way in our LGA with their belief in our area.  Brett Hawkins and his team have an outstanding vision for growth and prosperity with the old Wallerawang Power Station site and I cannot wait to see the end results in the future.”

In her own words on a plaque that accompanies the artwork, Caitlin states – “This event was very important to the local community as an iconic, cherished, and memorable landmark disappeared from our skylines whilst we gathered along the road to watch. Whilst somewhere happy to see the Power Station gone, others mourned its loss and pondered the questions it leaves for our community as it seems coal fired power is not going away anytime soon.

This work is not a demonstration of a diminishing coal industry but a celebration of the stations almost 7 decades of service to the community and to Australia. How it worked beyond its life expectancy and continued to help fulfil and ever-increasing demand for power.

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