Preservation of Western Australia’s heritage received a boost today with the release of guidelines to help protect State-owned buildings.
The guidelines were released at the historic Central Government Offices - also known as the Old Treasury Building - which is about to undergo a massive redevelopment.
The 126-year-old building housed WA’s first Cabinet meeting room and has been closed to the public since 1996. It was re-opened just for today’s launch.
Inside the historic building, Heritage Minister Graham Kierath and Works and Services Minister Rob Johnson today launched the Heritage Manual for State Government.
Mr Kierath said the plan to develop the Old Treasury Building should be a clear example to all property administrators - both public and private - as to what can be achieved.
“Building owners and managers should take a broad view of their property assets,” he said.
“Heritage buildings should be considered with imagination and vision as under-developed assets rather than taking the short-sighted view that they are liabilities.”
Mr Johnson said the State Government was setting an example to the community in its management of heritage assets.
The Minister’s portfolio agency, Contract and Management Services (CAMS), worked with the Heritage Council on the manual and has developed an online version which can be accessed by all people interested in heritage management.
“The processes set out in the manual can be used to revitalise a building that has become redundant - or surplus to requirements,” Mr Johnson said.
“By following these principles for heritage management, we can retain much of what we value about the past, while creating ‘living buildings’ with a viable new use.”
The State Government owns one third of the buildings on Western Australia’s State Register of Heritage Places.
About 250 are heritage listed and a further 1,000 are of potential heritage value and require additional assessment.
The Heritage Manual for State Government is designed to help facilities managers maintain these buildings, as well as understand what is required for their development and management.
The Heritage Manual can be found online at http://www.cams.wa.gov.au/heritage or hard copies can be obtained from the Heritage Council of WA.
Mr Kierath’s office: Zac Donovan (08) 9213 6400; or -
Mr Johnson’s office: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800