Property owners who illegally demolish heritage-listed places will soon face fines of up to $1million.
Heritage Minister Michelle Roberts today announced that the Government would significantly increase penalties for illegal demolition and other illegal works affecting heritage-listed places.
“The current penalties are woefully inadequate,” Mrs Roberts said.
“Under the Planning and Development Act the current maximum penalty for illegal works including demolition is $50,000. Under the Heritage Act, the maximum penalty for unauthorised works on a State-Registered heritage place is $5,000.
“These penalties do nothing to deter owners from illegally demolishing a place.
“The Government will increase the fines and bring in other penalties, including the power to stop development on the site for a set number of years.
“The legislation will provide real teeth, to protect our built heritage.”
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the inadequacy of penalties came to public attention in August last year when a private residence was illegally demolished.
“The demolition of the magnificent 100-year-old home at 5, Victoria Ave Claremont, despite its protected status under the local planning scheme, outraged many,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“Clearly we need to provide a greater deterrent, so property owners will think twice before illegally knocking down a heritage-listed place.”
There will be a two-tiered penalty system, recognising the different levels of significance attached to the State Register and the Local Scheme Registers.
Penalties for places in the State Register of Heritage Place will be provided under the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990. The increased penalties are:
· a monetary penalty up to $1,000,000 and a daily penalty for continuing offences of $50,000;
· a development moratorium up to 10 years; and
· repair work (whereby the offender is obliged to make good the unauthorised works).
Penalties for places listed in local government town planning schemes will be 50 per cent of the penalties that apply to places listed in the State Register. These penalties will apply under the Planning and Development Act 2005.
Drafting of amendments to both Acts will begin soon.
Heritage Minister's office - 9213 6600
Planning and Infrastructure Minister's office - 9213 6400