Hon David Templeman Dip Tchg BEd MLA

Hon David Templeman Dip Tchg BEd MLA

Minister for Culture and the Arts; Sport and Recreation; International Education; Heritage

    Aboriginal contract continues Fremantle Prison conservation works

    17/05/2021 7:00 AM
    • Contract awarded for conservation of Commissariat at Fremantle Prison
    • State Government continues its commitment to conserving UNESCO heritage site
    • Jobs and business opportunities for local Aboriginal construction company 

    An Aboriginal construction company has won a $915,000 contract to undertake conservation works at the Fremantle Prison Commissariat - the latest in a number of Government projects to protect one of the State's most valuable heritage assets.


    Kardan Construction started work today to install a lift and remove a ceiling in the Commissariat building, an area once used to store food and equipment for the working convicts.


    Constructed in 1857, the Commissariat is located in the basement of the Prison's Main Cell Block and was originally used for storage and distribution of provisions for convict working parties and convict depots around the State, and as an air-raid shelter during World War II.


    A popular location for unique functions and events, and featured on guided tours, the Commissariat has been closed to the public since 2018, due to increasing deterioration to the ceiling structure.


    The works will remove the structurally compromised ceiling, replacing it with a new trafficable walkway so visitors can see the yard below and installing a lift to improve visitor access for future tours and events held in the area.


    Kardan Construction has had extensive experience in the refurbishment and renovation of many challenging buildings including heritage sites and will employ 16 people during this initial stage of works.


    The project is in addition to $3.5 million spent to repair the Main Cell Block, and a further $1.6 million from the WA Recovery Plan, which will fund upgrades and repairs to the Main Parade Ground and Prison Hospital.


    Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:


    "We are committed to identifying funding streams that will underwrite conservation works and open up more of the Fremantle Prison to visitors, providing access to the areas that help in understanding its cultural past.


    "It's great how this project is providing opportunities for Aboriginal people, leading to local job creation, learning and skills training and business growth.


    "I also welcome the $411,000 grant awarded to Fremantle Prison by the Commonwealth Government last month for development of a Heritage Interpretation Plan that will identify contemporary and engaging ways to share the stories of the prison's past."


    Comments attributed to Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk:


    "Fremantle Prison is a much loved attraction for tourists and locals alike, and this investment in its future is welcome news.


    "It is particularly pleasing to hear that an Aboriginal owned company has won the contract for the works to preserve the Commissariat."


    Minister's office - 6552 5400