Plan to sell Leeuwin Barracks

HOT on the heels of the State Government saying it would sell Fremantle Port, the Federal Government last week announced it would do the same to the Leeuwin Barracks in East Fremantle.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Darren Chester announced on Thursday that there was no longer an operational or strategic need for the Leeuwin Barracks site.

It is expected to sell for around $100 million.

He said residential units from the barracks would be relocated to Irwin Barracks in Karrakatta and that it could be leased back if the sale proceeded before the relocation was done. “The defence estate is ageing and the cost of sustaining it is expensive and increasing,” he said.

“Selling the Leeuwin Barracks site will reduce Defence’s maintenance costs, and any proceeds will be reinvested in support of the Australian Defence Force.

“The sale of Leeuwin Barracks supports government estate consolidation objectives and, at the same time, releases a useful parcel of land for purchase by the public.”

Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke she “cautiously welcomed” news that the department would conduct due diligence investigations of heritage and environmental matters before the sale.

“The ageing facilities of Leeuwin Barracks have obviously had their time and this sale provides a rare opportunity to re-purpose a fantastic site,” she said.

Among other things, she added that the sell-off of the barracks must be fully-informed by an open and extensive public consultation process.