Trade union leader Jack Mundey, who led Sydney's green bans movement in the 1970s, has died at the age of 90.
Hailed as a visionary and inspiration by unionists and environmentalists alike, Jack Mundey left perhaps his biggest mark on the face of Sydney.
The trade union leader and environmental activist died after a long illness on Sunday, aged 90.
The Rocks, Centennial Park and Woolloomooloo are among the historic Sydney places and green spaces saved by Mr Mundey, his NSW Builders Labourers Federation and the 1970s green bans movement.
"It was his work with the green bans in that early 1970s period that really saved the beautiful city of Sydney," friend and fellow green bans activist Meredith Burgmann said.
"The skyline of Sydney owes more to Jack Mundey than to any other single individual," the former NSW Labor MP told the ABC.
The green bans movement started in 1971 through what Mr Mundey himself described as an unlikely alliance between the BLF and a group of middle-class women from the fashionable Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill.
The Battlers for Kelly's Bush went to the BLF and Mr Mundey, a prominent communist, in desperation to stop the development of the last bushland in the area after exhausting all other avenues.
The union bans on the developer saved Kelly's Bush and the BLF was soon inundated with community pleas for help to stop the destruction of much of old Sydney and its green spaces.
By 1974, 42 green bans had been imposed, stopping more than $3 billion worth of development.
He was a giant of the Australian and global trade union movement, a visionary and inspiration to all unionists and activists, CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan said on Monday.
"Anyone who has enjoyed Sydney's unique heritage and open spaces has Jack Mundey to thank."
Mr Noonan noted that under Mr Mundey's leadership, the union made important improvements in wages and conditions while also standing up for the rights of First Nations people, the LGBTI community and women.
He changed the face and direction of unionism in Australia, ACTU secretary Sally McManus said.
"Vale to a man who reshaped Australian union history, whose legacy is there for all to see in the beauty of Sydney and whose principles shone through until the end."
Mr Mundey remained active in the union after leading the NSW BLF from 1968 to 1975.
His heritage battles continued late in life, campaigning to protect heritage sites such as the Bondi Pavilion and the Sirius apartments in The Rocks.
Environmentalist and former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said Mr Mundey was a thoughtful man, a peaceful and courageous social revolutionary who left the world with a brilliant green legacy.
Mr Mundey was born in far north Queensland and moved to Sydney aged 19, mainly to play rugby league and had three seasons with Parramatta.
He joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1957 because, he said, it was the most militant group fighting for basic things like wages and conditions.
Mr Mundey is survived by his second wife, Judy.