Fremantle Society pushes for West End national heritage listing

Fremantle Society pushes for West End national heritage listing

UNSATISFIED with the size of the West End’s State heritage listing, the Fremantle Society is taking its fight to the Federal level.

A 200,000sq m area within the Gold Boom era West End was included in the State Register of Heritage Places in November last year, the single biggest entry on the list to date.

However it was not big enough for the Fremantle Society, which believed the boundaries should have been expanded to incorporate areas such as Arthur Head, the Round House and the Fremantle Train Station.

The group is taking its extended proposal to the Federal Government for inclusion on the National Heritage List, which has only two WA entries in the Fremantle Prison and the Warders Cottages.

Fremantle Society president John Dowson said the larger town was worthy of the accolades and benefits of a national listing.

“The area nominated is the same West End Conservation Area listed by the Federal Government since 1980 on its database, minus Fremantle Prison and the warders’ cottages, which are already on the Federal list,” he said.

“The Fremantle Society drew on a wealth of material from earlier research demonstrating clearly that the Fremantle historic town has the qualities necessary to meet national listing criteria.

“The nomination has been accepted for assessment and the Government will decide in a couple of months whether to take a proposal to the minister or not.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he agreed the West End was an area of national significance but it would be difficult to get it on the national list.

“Achieving a national listing is notoriously difficult and that is why only the Fremantle Prison and Warders Cottages are currently on this list,” he said.

“The debate over the most appropriate national listing boundary is to be expected and is healthy, but the risk of accepting a bigger boundary is the significance of the area will be devalued by the inclusion of areas lacking any special heritage significance.

“The state listing of the West End was recently achieved because it was a coherent boundary that had a strong identity beyond the value of its individual buildings and one which was also supported by the majority of property owners in the area.”

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