Commonwealth Bank (former) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Commonwealth Bank (former)

Item details

Name of item: Commonwealth Bank (former)
Other name/s: New England Credit Union
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Bank
Primary address: 74 Balo Street, Moree, NSW 2400
Local govt. area: Moree Plains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
74 Balo StreetMoreeMoree Plains  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The building at 74 Balo Street is a good example of an inter war commercial bank building with Art Deco detailing. The building dates from the key period of development for Balo Street following the great fire of 1928. It also dates from a key period of expansion and rebuilding for the Commonwealth Bank and is reasonably intact and makes a contribution to the streetscape and heritage conservation area.
Date significance updated: 30 Aug 07
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: The building is 2 storeys in height and constructed of rendered brickwork, with scribed ashlar detailing in two cubic volumes. The main fa├žade, which is set forward and was originally symmetrical, features recessed panels around the window and door openings and a rendered cornice with art deco detailing at parapet level. The windows and doors (which would have all been timber originally with transom glazing to accentuate horizontality) have all been replaced with aluminium which has changed the character of the building.

The awning is likely to be later addition as most of the banks were designed with a recessed entrance without an awning.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In good condition with a high degree of original fabric intact externally.
Date condition updated:30 Aug 07
Modifications and dates: The building has been altered internally over the years to adapt to the changing needs and technology of the bank.


Historical notes: The north west plains is part of the Darling Plains so named as all of the rivers in the area drain to the upper Darling River and the rich alluvial soils now used primarily used for cotton farming in the Moree district. The area was once part of the vast range of the Kamilaroi tribe and its many sub-bands. There was fierce resistance from these people when the area was settled by pastoralists entering the area from the Hunter Valley and the Liverpool plains to the south.

The area around Moree was first settled from 1837 and the town of Moree established in 1860. The original main street was Frome Street first established by the construction of General Store by Mary Brand in 1862. The main commercial street progressively changed to Balo Street after extensive flooding in 1910 when the bridges over the Gwydir River were constructed at slightly different locations to the previous bridges altering the traffic flow through town. A large fire in 1928 destroyed much of Balo Street and was a catalyst for redevelopment evidenced but the extensive number of inter war buildings in the street.

The existing building was constructed c1936 and is within the Moree Heritage Conservation Area. Balo Street was largely redeveloped after the great fire of 1928.

The building became a branch office of the New England Credit Union in 2005.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building has historic significance as it dates from the key period of development of Moree following the great fire of 1928. It is also dates from a prolific rebuilding period by the bank in the inner suburbs of Sydney and throughout NSW.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building is associated with the Commonwealth Bank.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is a good example of an Inter War Art Deco Bank building and demonstrates many of the key aspects of the style including the cubic form, and rendered detailing with art deco stylised motifs.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
It is unlikely that the site would reveal further information that would contribute to the significance of the area.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of an Inter War Art Deco former bank.
Integrity/Intactness: High externally, low internally
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and/or Heritage Impact Statement should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the facade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, shall not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the Moree Plains Shire Council Development Control Plans.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  12 May 95   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Moree Plains Community Based Heritage Study2007 INHERITage  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenINHERITage2004Heritage Impact Statement

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2050001

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