Heritage Minister John Castrilli has ended 20 years of vacillation by successive State governments with the release of Western Australia’s first cultural heritage policy.
Legislation was first introduced to State Parliament 20 years ago.
Mr Castrilli said today his new policy clearly showed how much the Liberal-National Government valued WA’s heritage.
“This policy establishes a framework to ensure a secure future for significant heritage places,” he said.
The policy will underpin sound practice in the conservation, management and adaptation of heritage places and will raise awareness among owners of the benefits of conservation and the positive ways heritage places can be adapted.
The State Cultural Heritage Policy contains a range of initiatives, including a major review of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990.
The Minister said the first major achievement under the policy was providing improved protection for heritage-listed properties through increased penalties for unauthorised demolition or damage, which came into effect on March 3, 2011.
“The next significant initiative is the comprehensive review of the Heritage Act. I have today released the first consultation paper and I urge interested members of the community to have their say,” he said.
“A key policy objective of the State Cultural Heritage Policy is to ensure heritage legislation is open, transparent, and simple to operate and understand.
“The policy will also provide a framework for the State Government to work effectively across agencies, and with local government and the community, to recognise, maintain and capitalise on our cultural heritage.”
Mr Castrilli said WA had a rich historic heritage that was a significant State asset and this policy would ensure WA’s heritage was protected and promoted.
“Heritage conservation will become increasingly important in the years ahead and it is vital we cultivate innovative ways to ensure heritage is an integral component of the State’s future development,” he said.
A copy of the consultation paper on the review of the Act is available at http://www.heritage.wa.gov.au/about-the-heritage-council/review-of-the-heritage-act.html or phone 9221 4177.
Minister's office - 9213 6800