New Heritage Bill passed for better protection of WA heritage sites

Heritage Minister and Mandurah MLA David Templeman at Barracks Arch.
Heritage Minister and Mandurah MLA David Templeman at Barracks Arch.

A HERITAGE bill has been passed to ensure better protection for heritage places in WA – including those at risk from demolition by neglect.

The Heritage Bill is the result of intensive community consultation following a State Government promise to fix the sometimes unclear heritage assessment and consultation processes.

Key changes will include a smoother process for entering a place in the State Register, certainty for owners wishing to develop their heritage places and increased transparency.

There will also be greater protection for State-registered places that will proceed through a mix of incentives such as grants and access to technical assistance.

Heritage Minister and Mandurah MLA David Templeman said the current Act was written 28 years ago, at a time when the demolition of Perth’s built heritage was undertaken in the name of progress.

“The new Act provides transparent and simple to operate legislation that reflects best practice in the recognition and protection of heritage places,” he said.

“People’s view about heritage has changed and they now see the great advantages of enhancing, protecting and reusing heritage places which can be great for places and great for businesses and tourism, and protect those historical assets for perpetuity.

“For international and interstate tourists, it’s important we have in place an act that protects and provides a clear and transparent process on how we shield buildings and assets.”

The legislation will come into force once regulations have been developed in consultation with stakeholders over coming months.