Firefighters win battle to return plaque

Former Bassendean volunteer firefighters are relieved a station plaque will be returned.
Former Bassendean volunteer firefighters are relieved a station plaque will be returned.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) removed the plaque, which was fixed to the front exterior wall of the building in 1934, when it was closed down in 2013.

Former volunteer Stevin Page said he and his colleagues were outraged that it was removed and had been fighting for two years to have it returned.

When it was announced this month that the building had been heritage listed, Mr Page said now was the perfect time to bring the plaque back.

�We were told it was taken down for cleaning purposes, but it was never put back,� he said.

Mr Page suggested legal action could be taken against DFES for the �desecration� of the building since it was heritage-listed.

But State Heritage Office executive director Graeme Gammie said no action would be taken.

�The plaque was not on the Bassendean Fire Station when it was assessed in August 2014 for inclusion in the State Register of Heritage Places,� Mr Gammie said.

�The provisions of the Heritage of Western Australian Act 1990 that serve to protect a State Registered place take effect from the date of registration.

�The station was entered in the State Register on July 21, 2015.�

DFES North-East Superintendent Craig Waters said the plaque was relocated to the Kiara Fire Station when it opened in March, 2014 but would be returned.

�When a fire station closes, it is common practice for the plaque to be moved to the firefighters� new location as a permanent memento,� Mr Waters said.

�In recognition of the recent heritage listing, arrangements have been made for the plaque to be moved back to Bassendean Fire Station.�

Town of Bassendean Mayor John Gangell said it could be a long time before the plaque is returned.

�The Town is working through the process of purchasing the site, but if it is not successful, it could go to the open market,� Cr Gangell said.

�The plaque will not be returned until the use for the building is decided.

�I understand DFES do not want to put it back while the building is not in use in case it is stolen or damaged.�