New Act set to strengthen protections of heritage places

  • Bill passed to replace 28-year-old heritage legislation
  • Improved protection for heritage places at risk from ‘demolition by neglect’
  • Delivers simplified assessment processes and greater certainty for owners
  • One step closer to delivery of election commitment

Stronger protections for Western Australia’s heritage places will soon be in place with the passing of the Heritage Bill 2017.

The new legislation will replace the outdated Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990 and bring Western Australia in line with other States to ensure better protections for important heritage places, in particular, those left to ‘demolition by neglect’.

The Heritage Bill is the result of intensive community consultation following a State Government commitment to overhaul the sometimes complex, inflexible and unclear heritage assessment and consultation processes.

Key changes include a streamlined process for entering a place in the State Register; certainty for owners wishing to develop their heritage places; and increased transparency by publishing the Heritage Council’s advice to the Minister for Heritage on the inclusion of a place in the State Register.

Greater protection for State registered places will also occur through a mix of incentives such as grants and access to technical assistance.

The Bill also balances identifying and recording local heritage places without imposing controls on owner’s properties.

The legislation will come into force once the necessary regulations to give effect to the new Act have been developed in consultation with stakeholders over coming months.

As noted by Heritage Minister David Templeman:

“The State Government is pleased to oversee the introduction of a contemporary heritage legislation that is in line with community values and expectations.

“The current Act was written at a time when the demolition of a lot 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.

“We will continue to work with the community to enhance the value of our heritage buildings to reactivate and conserve them as part of our unique Western Australian story.

“The passage of this Bill through both houses of Parliament represents a another step forward to the delivery of an election commitment.”

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