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Fremantle’s West End to be permanently heritage listed

Fremantle’s West End to be permanently heritage listed
July 23, 2017

The Heritage Council of Western Australia has announced its decision to permanently include Fremantle’s West End, which includes 250 buildings over a 200,000 metre² site.

The area was first added to the State Register of Heritage Places last year on a temporary basis, with feedback sought from the public as to the possibility of listing the site permanently.

Announcing that the permanent listing would provide protection while boosting tourism to the area. Western Australian Heritage Minister David Templeman stated "Fremantle's West End is a rare example of a highly intact port city business district and is notable for its impressive variety of gold boom era buildings that point to its maritime heritage.

"The permanent inclusion of West End in the State register recognises the important story the precinct tells as a whole, and it will now benefit from the full protection of the law in perpetuity.

"Since the interim registration late last year, it is clear that being State registered does not impose a greater level of bureaucracy on development proposals. It simply means development needs to be sensitive to the heritage values of the precinct.”

The heritage-listed area covers around half of the West End Conversation Area, which was placed on the Register of National Estate in 1979, and features 250 buildings including a high concentration of late-19th-century and early-20th-century bond stores, warehouses, banks, hotels and commercial buildings.

The City of Fremantle nominated West End for inclusion on the state heritage register following its own detailed assessment, which found the precinct was comparable to historic ports in other states such as The Rocks in Sydney, Hobart, Port Adelaide and Port Melbourne.

Minister Templeman added “since the interim registration late last year, it is clear that being State registered does not impose a greater level of bureaucracy on development proposals. It simply means development needs to be sensitive to the heritage values of the precinct.”

“The permanent inclusion of West End in the State register recognises the important story the precinct tells as a whole, and it will now benefit from the full protection of the law in perpetuity.

"State heritage-listing will enhance the precinct's appeal as a tourism destination, where visitors can immerse themselves in the sights and experiences of this historic area and contribute to its revitalisation."

West End dates back to 1829 when it was selected as the site of the port town of Fremantle for the Swan River Colony.

Some of the heritage-listed buildings include convict built structures such as the former Commissariat buildings, designed by architect James Manning in 1856 and completed in 1898, which became home to Western Australian Maritime Shipwrecks Galleries in 1979 (pictured).

The listing will also see private owners become eligible to apply for a Heritage Council grants of up to $100,000 to help with conservation works.

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