Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


    Government releases maintenance plan for Fremantle Prison

    22/12/2000 9:00 AM

    Works and Services Minister Rob Johnson today released a Strategic Master Plan (SMP) for historic Fremantle Prison.

    SMPs are designed to help Government agencies maintain their building portfolios and inform submissions for capital work funding applications.

    A key component of the SMP is a Building Condition Assessment (BCA) - a detailed inspection of the property that identifies the maintenance needs of the site.

    This includes a costing for all works that provides the basis for a maintenance plan for the next six years.

    Mr Johnson said in addition to the BCA, Contract and Management Services - the agency responsible for the management of the prison - had undertaken a detailed access audit by recognised heritage building consultant Eric Martin and incorporated the findings of two engineer’s reports into the condition of the prison’s perimeter wall.

    This SMP represents a fully integrated view of the maintenance needs of the prison site.

    Mr Johnson said he had decided to release the master plan to dispel some of the myths surrounding the maintenance schedule and future use of the prison.

    “There have been a number of unsubstantiated claims made about the true condition of the prison and this has obviously concerned anyone who has an interest in this important heritage site,” he said.

    “I hope that by releasing the report, those concerns can be dispelled.”

    The SMP found the prison required maintenance worth $3.5 million over the next six years.

    The maintenance requirements have been categorised into three strategic programs that include:
    • safety and access audit works worth $510,000 over three years. These works would identify risks to the public, visitors and tenants and ensure compliance with State and Commonwealth disabled access requirements;
    • perimeter wall limestone repairs worth $800,000 over four years. This includes a program to restore the degraded stonework exposed to weathering and repair cracking to the walls and supporting piers; and -
    • roof restoration and water management worth $1.2 million over four years. This includes a program of repair water management fixtures and drainage systems of the main cell block and new division. This program also features the conservation of the stonework of these significant buildings.

    Mr Johnson said money for the works would be sought as part of the 2001-2002 Budget process.

    Funding is also being sought to assist with the initiation of a site master plan, a process that was endorsed by the Fremantle Prison Strategic Planning Committee in September.

    CAMS has been working with members of the Fremantle Prison Trust Committee and the convenors of the neighbouring Fremantle Community Precincts on a brief for the Master Plan.

    The prison’s existing conservation plan, developed in 1992 and reviewed by its author James Semple Kerr in 1998, is the foundation for the master plan study that will:
    • identify the issues that need to be addressed in the master plan;
    • develop and prioritise a plan for the conservation of the built fabric;
    • identify opportunities for the development of the spaces that comprise the precinct through a combination of conservation, adaptation, development and interpretation; and -
    • develop an implementation strategy and cost the proposals.

    The process will involve significant consultation with stakeholders including the local community to ensure that a widely endorsed master plan is adopted for the future development of the site.

    It is expected that the project will be tendered Australia-wide to ensure that an appropriate level of expertise is available to complete this important project.

    Copies of the SMP can be obtained by phoning Graeme Gammie at CAMS on 9222 5009.

    Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800