The three-year campaign to rescue and re-use heritage cottages on the old artillery barracks in Fremantle has finally borne fruit.
The Commonwealth Department of Defence has now agreed to sell the 10 units to the State Government as a priority sale.
Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan said the units located at the corner of Queen Victoria and Burt streets would be upgraded for residential accommodation for Homeswest tenants.
Negotiations would now begin on the price of the nine two-bedroom units and the single three-bedroom unit, which represented only 15 per cent of the total barracks site.
Mr Logan said while he was pleased the Federal Government had finally approved the sale, he was disappointed it had taken so long.
“The premises have been vacant for many years and with the passage of time are now in such a state of disrepair that significant funding is required to bring them to a standard where they can be made available to tenants,” he said.
The Minister criticised the Commonwealth Government’s previous slow response to negotiations that began in 2002, which had effectively prevented the State from acquiring or leasing the heritage-listed units.
“Had we been offered reasonable terms to lease the units until a sale could be effected, these properties would have been fully refurbished and occupied by Western Australians who are in desperate need of Homeswest accommodation,” he said.
“Regrettably, negotiations have been needlessly protracted.”
Mr Logan said it could still be some time before the units were suitable for accommodation. In addition to the upgrades, rezoning and planning approvals would need to be sought.
In the meantime, he had written to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence requesting that negotiations be expedited over the lease of the units while the sale was being finalised.
“The Gallop Government is committed to improving the quality of services to all Western Australians wherever they live,” Mr Logan said.
Minister's office: 9222 8950