Graham Kierath

Graham Kierath


Richard Court

Richard Court


    Coalition's commitment to the State's heritage will see Fremantle Artillery Barracks gifted to the community

    14/01/2001 10:30 AM

    A Coalition Government would gift the entire historic Artillery Barracks site at Fremantle to the local community .

    Premier Richard Court and Heritage Minister Graham Kierath today announced that the State had been successful in having the Federal Government transfer ownership of the historic site to Western Australia as a Centenary of Federation initiative.

    The Coalition commitment was also aimed at removing any lingering doubt over the future of the Army Museum of WA - which is located on the site.

    “The Coalition, if re-elected, would offer to vest the Artillery Barracks to the Fremantle City Council to ensure the local community is involved in the future management of the site,” Mr Court said.

    The Mayor of Fremantle, Richard Utting, has suggested this course of action - but it would require formal council approval.

    “As part of the arrangements, it would be a condition that the Army Museum be allowed to stay in its current location and only be required to pay a peppercorn rental," Mr Court said.

    “It would be a tremendous outcome for Fremantle and the wider community and ensure that an important historical site such as the Artillery Barracks remains in community hands for future generations.

    “The decision reflects the Coalition’s recognition and development of Fremantle as a premier heritage precinct of this State.”

    The Premier praised the willingness of the Commonwealth to listen to the State Government’s concerns over the future of the site and said Western Australian Senators Chris Ellison and Ross Lightfoot had worked hard to achieve a positive outcome for the State.

    Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Senator Eric Abetz had also played a key role in the gifting of the facility.

    Community groups such as the Board of the Army Museum and the Returned Services League had also strongly lobbied the Federal Government on the future of the facility.

    “The outcome is a win for all those involved, but most importantly it protects a community facility that has strong links to the memory of those who have served and protected our country - and in many cases made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mr Court said.

    The announcement on the Artillery Barracks came as the Premier and Mr Kierath launched the Coalition’s heritage policy.

    “The decision on the future of the Barracks reflects the Coalition’s commitment to heritage in this State,” Mr Kierath said.

    “Our policy is a commonsense approach to heritage that aims to conserve our State’s colourful past.

    “Genuine heritage with genuine importance and significance to the community will be given the highest protection by the Coalition as it always has been.

    “To support this, we are putting in place a wide range of mechanisms and measures to ensure that a responsible and commonsense approach is taken with heritage that considers the interests of all Western Australians.”

    Mr Kierath said key aspects of the Coalition Heritage policy included:
    • the establishment of a $2 million a year Heritage Conservation Fund to provide for conservation incentives and short-term emergency acquisitions of heritage properties. The fund will be managed by the Heritage Council;
    • the development of a Tourism and Heritage Strategy to determine the heritage conservation issues that are priorities from a tourism development perspective;
    • the establishment of a Mining Heritage Trail in WA; and -
    • funding for the $10 million Golden Pipeline Project which is seeing historic pumping stations restored along the length of the water pipeline between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

    Mr Kierath said the Coalition had a strong heritage record with achievements over the past eight years including:
    • the distribution of $4 million in heritage grants since 1997 - with more than 70 per cent of grants allocated to regional areas;
    • the addition of 560 places onto the State Heritage Register;
    • the development of a comprehensive State-wide database listing 15,000 heritage places;
    • the re-furbishment and adaptation of Government heritage assets into community facilities such as Heathcote Hospital, the creation of a Constitutional Centre at the Old Hale School and the restoration of Hackett Hall; and -
    • the Coalition had committed substantial funds to the development of facilities to highlight the State’s heritage including a new Maritime Museum at Fremantle and the construction of a Mining and Prospectors Hall of Fame at Kalgoorlie.

    Media contacts:
    Casey Cahill (PREMIER) 9222 9475
    Zac Donovan (KIERATH) 9213 6400