73. Central Power Station - 1930

Central Power Station.png

Two power stations, Station A and Station B, were constructed on this site between 1930 - 1950. 

Station A, built in 1930 on the lease of the Central Mine by Western NSW Electric Power Pty Ltd, supplied electricity and compressed air to the mines. Station B, added between 1947 and 1950, almost doubled the generating capacity.  

The buildings are reinforced concrete, and the roofs are covered with three layers of bituminous felt. The interior of the Power Station has the proportions of a cathedral, complete with an expanse of original tiled flooring.  

Each building had a pair of cranes with a lifting capacity of 22 tons. The electric power was generated by diesel sets and distributed at 6,900 volts, 40 cycle, and 3 phase over conductors, carried on steel towers to substations at each mine. At the sub-stations the charge was transformed to 550 volts.  

The Central Power Station supplied the mines with power for over 50 years. It closed in 1986 when the mines connected to the NSW electricity grid and all machinery has now been removed.  

The building was purchased by Broken Hill City Council and became Broken Hill Studios. It was leased  to Film Director George Miller for the filming of Mad Max Fury Road but after an unusually wet year, the desert flowers came out and the landscape looked too lush and green to be a suitable backdrop for a post-apocalyptic film! The building is now privately owned.  

Audio transcript available.