John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Breaksea Island Heritage Restoration launched

    7/06/2006 5:45 PM

    Restoration of the heritage infrastructure on Breaksea Island at Albany was today officially launched by Great Southern Minister John Bowler.

    The Breaksea Island Heritage Restoration Project recognises the value of preserving the lighthouse infrastructure, to enable people to understand the important role played by lighthouses as navigational aids, before the advent of modern methods of navigation.

    “The lighthouses and associated infrastructure on Breaksea Island are regarded as some of the most significant examples of 19th and 20th century navigational architecture in Western Australia,” Mr Bowler said.

    “This is an exciting project for both the region and the State and has national significance due to the role Albany once played as WA’s principal port.

    “Breaksea Island and the associated Point King Lighthouse, at the entrance to Princess Royal Harbour, were the second pair of lighthouses constructed in WA and were placed on the State Register of Heritage Places in 2001.”

    Breaksea Island Heritage Restoration Committee has been a joint initiative of the Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC) and the Department of Conservation and Land Management, together with strong community interest.

    Albany MLA Peter Watson assisted the committee in securing funding for the project through the GSDC’s Regional Development Scheme, with planning for the Emergency Heritage Restoration Building Works able to begin in 2004.

    “The fact that the project is well under way, despite the logistical challenges of the site, is a measure of the commitment of those involved,” Mr Watson said.

    He praised the contribution of heritage architect David Heaver and builder and CALM employee Lawrence Cuthbert, both regarded as keys to the restoration.

    Mr Bowler also recognised the work of the local community, who had generously contributed to the ambitious project, plus the support given by the Forest Products Commission, Albany Maritime Foundation, Albany Port Authority and community groups.

    The first stages of the project would focus on stabilising the existing buildings to prevent further deterioration and the development of a heritage conservation plan for the complex. On completion, it was envisaged that the two houses on the island would be used for research, community education and ecotourism purposes.

    Minsiter's office: 9222 9699